Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
Incident hypertension in relation to aircraft noise exposure: results of the DEBATS longitudinal study in France
  1. Aboud Kourieh1,
  2. Lise Giorgis-Allemand1,
  3. Liacine Bouaoun1,
  4. Marie Lefèvre1,
  5. Patricia Champelovier2,
  6. Jacques Lambert2,3,
  7. Bernard Laumon4,
  8. Anne-Sophie Evrard1
  1. 1 Université Lyon, Université Gustave Eiffel, IFSTTAR, Université Lyon 1, Umrestte, UMR T_9405, Bron, France
  2. 2 Université Gustave Eiffel, IFSTTAR, AME-DCM, Bron, France
  3. 3 Currently retired, Villeurbanne, France
  4. 4 Université Gustave Eiffel, IFSTTAR, TS2, Bron, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne-Sophie Evrard, Université Lyon, Université Gustave Eiffel, IFSTTAR, Université Lyon 1, Umrestte, UMR T_9405, Bron, France; anne-sophie.evrard{at}


Background Although several cross-sectional studies have shown that aircraft noise exposure was associated with an increased risk of hypertension, a limited number of longitudinal studies have addressed this issue. This study is part of the DEBATS (Discussion on the health effect of aircraft noise) research programme and aimed to investigate the association between aircraft noise exposure and the incidence of hypertension.

Methods In 2013, 1244 adults living near three major French airports were included in this longitudinal study. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as demographic and lifestyle factors, were collected at baseline and after 2 and 4 years of follow-up during face-to-face interviews. Exposure to aircraft noise was estimated for each participant’s home address using noise maps. Statistical analyses were performed using mixed Poisson and linear regression models adjusted for potential confounding factors.

Results A 10 dB(A) increase in aircraft noise levels in terms of Lden was associated with a higher incidence of hypertension (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.36, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.82). The association was also significant for Lday (IRR 1.41, 95% CI 1.07; to 1.85) and Lnight (IRR 1.31, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.71). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased with all noise indicators.

Conclusion These results strengthen those obtained from the cross-sectional analysis of the data collected at the time of inclusion in DEBATS, as well as those from previous studies conducted in other countries. Hence, they support the hypothesis that aircraft noise exposure may be considered as a risk factor for hypertension.

  • epidemiology
  • longitudinal studies
  • noise
  • cardiology

Data availability statement

No data are available.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

No data are available.

View Full Text


  • Contributors A-SE and BL with JL and PC conceived and designed the study. A-SE and ML conducted the study. JL interpreted the aircraft noise data and PC interpreted the annoyance data. ML was involved in data extraction. ML, AK and LG-A did data preparation. AK performed the statistical analyses, supervised by A-SE, LB and LG-A. The analyses were interpreted by AK with LB, LG-A, A-SE and BL. AK, LG-A and A-SE drafted the initial report. All coauthors revised the report and approved the final version. A-SE is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor of this paper.

  • Funding This study was supported by funds from the French Ministry of Health, the French Ministry of the Environment, the French Civil Aviation Authority, and the Airport Pollution Control Authority (Acnusa). The authors would like to thank them.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.