Associations of road traffic noise with mortality and hospital admissions in London

Invited paper

Anna Hansell

Imperial College London

Monday 1 june, 2015, 15:00 - 15:20

0.4 Brussels (189)

Background and aims Previously published studies have found associations of road noise with hypertension, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially for stroke. We aimed to examine the chronic effects of road traffic noise on mortality and hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease and stroke in a large general population. Methods The study population consisted of 8.61 million inhabitants in London. We assessed small-area level associations of day- (7:00-22:59) and night-time (23:00- 06:59) road traffic noise with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular hospital admissions in all adults (≥25 years) with Poisson regression models applying the Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) approach in the Bayesian framework. We adjusted the models for age and sex, area-level deprivation, ethnicity, smoking, air pollution and a random effect. Results Mean daytime exposure to road traffic noise was 55.6 dB. Daytime noise was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in adults; relative risks (RR) for all-cause mortality were 1.04 (95% CI 1.00-1.07) in areas with daytime road noise >60 dB vs. <55 dB. Exposure to daytime road traffic noise also increased the risk of hospital admission for stroke with RR 1.05 (95% CI 1.02-1.09) in areas >60 dB vs. <55 dB. Night-time noise was not associated with road traffic noise in adults of all ages. Conclusions This is the largest study to date to investigate environmental noise and cardiovascular disease. It suggests that road traffic noise is associated with small increased risks of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease.

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