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Original Article
Is aircraft noise exposure associated with cardiovascular disease and hypertension? Results from a cohort study in Athens, Greece

Abstract

Background We followed up, in 2013, the subjects who lived near the Athens International Airport and had participated in the cross-sectional multicountry HYENA study in 2004–2006.

Objective To evaluate the association of exposure to aircraft and road traffic noise with the incidence of hypertension and other cardiovascular outcomes.

Methods From the 780 individuals who participated in the cross-sectional study, 537 were still living in the same area and 420 accepted to participate in the follow-up. Aircraft and road traffic noise exposure was based on the estimations conducted in 2004–2006, linking geocoded residential addresses of the participants to noise levels. We applied multiple logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results The incidence of hypertension was significantly associated with higher aircraft noise exposure during the night. Specifically, the OR for hypertension per 10 dB increase in Lnight aircraft noise exposure was 2.63 (95% CI 1.21 to 5.71). Doctor-diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia was significantly associated with Lnight aircraft noise exposure, when prevalent and incident cases were considered with an OR of 2.09 (95% CI 1.07 to 4.08). Stroke risk was also increased with increasing noise exposure but the association was not significant. Twenty-four-hour road traffic noise associations with the outcomes considered were weaker and less consistent.

Conclusions In conclusion, our cohort study suggests that long-term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, is associated with incident hypertension and possibly, also, cardiovascular effects.

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Aircraft noise
  • Cohort study

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