Residential exposure to traffic noise and risk for non- Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphoid leukemia in an adult population

Invited paper

Mette Sørensen

Danish Cancer Society Research Centre

Monday 1 june, 2015, 12:00 - 12:20

0.4 Brussels (189)

Exposure to traffic noise may result in stress and sleep disturbances, which are suspected of impairing the immune system. People with weakened immune systems are known to have a higher risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and potentially also chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL). We aimed to investigate the association between traffic noise and risk for NHL and CLL. In a case-control study we identified 2,757 incident NHL cases and 1,003 incident CLL cases between 30 and 84 years of age among the Danish population of 5.5 million inhabitants in the period between 1992 and 2010. For each case two random controls, matched on sex and year of birth, were selected. Road traffic and railway noise were calculated and airport noise estimated for all present and historical residential addresses of cases and controls from 1987 to 2010. Associations between traffic noise and risk for CLL and NHL were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for disposable income, education, cohabiting status and comorbidity. We found a 5-year time-weighted mean of road traffic noise above 65 dB to be associated with a 17% higher risk for NHL (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.36), whereas for exposure between 55 and 65 dB no association was found (odds ratio (OR): 0.97; 95% CI: 0.88-1.08), when compared with road traffic noise below 55 dB. For CLL no association with road traffic noise was found. In combinations of airport, road traffic and railway noise, we found that when exposed to two or more of these exposures above a threshold of 50 dB for airport noise, 55 dB for road traffic noise and/or 60 dB for railway noise, the OR was 1.25 for NHL (0.91-1.72) and 1.56 for CLL (0.89- 2.73). In conclusion, high exposure to traffic noise might be associated with an increased risk for NHL.

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