Associations of road traffic noise, blood pressure and heart rate in three harmonized European cohorts

Regular paper

Wilma Zijlema

University Medical Center Groningen

Monday 1 june, 2015, 15:40 - 16:00

0.4 Brussels (189)

Background and aim: Exposure to road traffic noise may increase risk of hypertension. Ambient air pollution may be a confounder in this relationship, as both noise and air pollution originate from traffic and both may be associated with hypertension. We investigated associations of road traffic noise with blood pressure and heart rate, while taking into account exposure to ambient air pollution, in three European cohorts using a harmonized approach. Methods: Data were obtained from LifeLines (the Netherlands), EPIC-Oxford (UK) and HUNT (Norway). Road traffic noise exposure was assessed using a European noise model based on Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU). Exposure to ambient fine particles (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was estimated using a European land use regression model. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate measurements were conducted by trained medical professionals within each participating cohort. Confounding factors as measured by questionnaires were harmonized according to the DataSHaPER methodology. Federated analysis of harmonized data for the three cohorts will be conducted at the individual level using the DataSHIELD approach. Results: Data from over 100,000 participants, aged 18-100 years, were available for the current study. Median annual average day-evening-night levels of road traffic noise (Lden) were 54 dB(A) (LifeLines), 55 dB(A) (EPIC-Oxford), and 49 dB(A) (HUNT). Results from pooled linear regression analyses adjusted for sex, age, and ambient air pollution will be presented at the conference. Conclusions: Pooling harmonized data from multiple European cohorts allows the use of large sample sizes with a wide noise exposure range. Findings from this study will contribute to the knowledge about harmful effects of road traffic noise on cardiovascular health.

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