Research Article Advance Publication
High Blood Pressure and Long-Term Exposure to Indoor Noise and Air Pollution from Road Traffic
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Citation: Foraster M, Künzli N, Aguilera I, Rivera M, Agis D, Vila J, Bouso L, Deltell A, Marrugat J, Ramos R, Sunyer J, Elosua R, Basagaña X. High Blood Pressure and Long-Term Exposure to Indoor Noise and Air Pollution from Road Traffic. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307156.
Received: 30 May 2013
Accepted: 7 July 2014
Advance Publication: 8 July 2014
Background: Traffic noise has been associated with prevalence of hypertension, but reports are inconsistent for blood pressure (BP). People’s noise exposure indoors might be essential to ascertain effects and disentangle them from those suspected for traffic-related air pollution.
Objectives: We analyzed associations of long-term exposure to indoor traffic noise at bedrooms with prevalent hypertension, systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP, considering long-term exposure to outdoor nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Methods: We evaluated 1926 cohort participants at baseline (years 2003-2006, Girona – Spain). Outdoor annual average levels of nighttime traffic noise (Lnight) and NO2 were estimated at postal addresses with a detailed traffic noise model and a land-use regression model, respectively. Individual indoor traffic Lnight levels were derived from outdoor Lnight applying the insulations provided by reported noise-reducing factors. We assessed associations for hypertension and BP with multi-exposure logistic and linear regression models, respectively.
Results: Median levels were 27.1 dB(A) (indoor Lnight), 56.7 dB(A) (outdoor Lnight), and 26.8 µg/m3 (NO2). Spearman correlations between outdoor and indoor Lnight with NO2 were 0.75 and 0.23, respectively. The indoor noise model provided more consistent findings both for Lnight [per 5 dB(A)]: OR (hypertension) = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.13; β (SBP) = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.29, 1.15); and NO2 (per 10 µg/m3): OR (hypertension) = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.36; β (SBP) = 1.23, 95% CI: 0.21, 2.25; β (DBP) = 0.56, 95% CI: -0.03, 1.14). The indoor noise-SBP association was stronger and statistically significant with a threshold at 30 dB(A).
Conclusion: Long-term exposure to indoor traffic noise was associated with prevalent hypertension and SBP, independently of NO2. Associations were less consistent for outdoor traffic Lnight and likely affected by collinearity.
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