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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 608 | ID: 2017-608

Prevalence of Noise Exposure in Australian Workplaces

Jane S. Heyworth(School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia, jane.heyworth@uwa.edu.au), Kate Lewkowski(School of Public Health, Curtin University, Australia), Ian Li(School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia), Warwick Williams(National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia), Kahlia McCausland(School of Public Health, Curtin University, Australia), Lin Fritschi(School of Public Health, Curtin University, Australia)
Background/Aim: Studies revealed long-term associations between noise exposure and cardiovascular health, but the underlying mechanisms remain uncertain. Few studies on noise and heart rate variability (HRV) objectively assessed both personal noise exposure and personal accelerometry as a major confounder. The aim of this study was to explore the concomitant and lagged short-term associations between personal exposure to noise and heart rate variability in a real life setting in the Île-de-France region.

Methods: The RECORD MultiSensor Study collected noise and heart rate data for 75 participants, aged 34 to 74 years, in their living environments for 7 days using a personal dosimeter, an electrocardiography sensor on the chest, an accelerometer on the hip and a GPS completed by a mobility survey. Heart rate variability (HRV) parameters, noise level, accelerometry and heart rate were calculated for 5-minute windows. Short-term relationships between noise level and HRV parameters were assessed using mixed effects models adjusted for accelerometry and heart rate with a random intercept for participants, a temporal autocorrelation structure, and short-term trends accounted for in the random part of the model as well.

Results: An increase in A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level in dB(A) was associated with concomitant non-linear increases of the standard deviation of normal to normal intervals (SDNN), of the low frequency (LF) and high frequency powers (HF), and of the LF/HF ratio. The analysis of lagged exposures to noise adjusted for the concomitant exposure illustrates the dynamic of recovery of the autonomic nervous system with decreases of smaller magnitude for exposures measured further away.

Conclusions: Personal noise exposure was found to be related to a concomitant increase of the overall HRV, with evidence of unbalance of the autonomic nervous system towards sympathetic activity and effects observed with up to 15-minutes lagged noise.