Hypertension and road traffic noise exposure

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 May;49(5):484-92. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318058a9ff.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between road traffic noise exposure at home and the prevalence of hypertension.

Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses in a large random sample (N=40,856) of inhabitants of Groningen City, and in a subsample (the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease [PREVEND]) study cohort; N=8592).

Results: Before adjustment for confounders, road traffic noise exposure was associated with self-reported use of antihypertensive medication in the city of Groningen sample (odds ratio [OR]=1.31 per 10-dB increase in Lden). Adjusted odds ratios were significant for the subjects between 45 and 55 years old in the full model when adjusted for PM10 (OR=1.19) and at higher exposure (Lden >55 dB) only (OR=1.21; with adjustment for PM10, OR=1.31). In the PREVEND cohort, the unadjusted odds ratio was 1.35 for hypertension (systolic and diastolic blood pressure >140 and >90 mm Hg, respectively, or use of antihypertensive medication). Again, the adjusted odds ratio was significant for subjects between 45 and 55 years old (OR=1.27; with adjustment for PM10, OR=1.39).

Conclusions: Exposure to road traffic noise may be associated with hypertension in subjects who are between 45 and 55 years old. Associations seemed to be stronger at higher noise levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Automobiles
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Noise, Transportation / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires