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.
- longitudinal studies
Data availability statement
No data are available.
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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.
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