Road traffic noise, air pollution components and cardiovascular events

Noise Health. Nov-Dec 2013;15(67):388-97. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.121230.


Traffic noise and air pollution have been associated with cardiovascular health effects. Until date, only a limited amount of prospective epidemiological studies is available on long-term effects of road traffic noise and combustion related air pollution. This study investigates the relationship between road traffic noise and air pollution and hospital admissions for ischemic heart disease (IHD: International Classification of Diseases (ICD9) 410-414) or cerebrovascular disease (cerebrovascular event [CVE]: ICD9 430-438). We linked baseline questionnaire data to 13 years of follow-up on hospital admissions and road traffic noise and air pollution exposure, for a large random sample (N = 18,213) of inhabitants of the Eindhoven region, Netherlands. Subjects with cardiovascular event during follow-up on average had higher road traffic noise day, evening, night level (L den) and air pollution exposure at the home. After adjustment for confounders (age, sex, body mass index, smoking, education, exercise, marital status, alcohol use, work situation, financial difficulties), increased exposure did not exert a significant increased risk of hospital admission for IHD or cerebrovascular disease. Relative risks (RRs) for a 5 (th) to 95 (th) percentile interval increase were 1.03 (0.88-1.20) for L den; 1.04 (0.90-1.21) for particulate matter (PM 10 ); 1.05 (0.91-1.20) for elemental carbon (EC); and 1.12 (096-1.32) for nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) in the full model. While the risk estimate seemed highest for NO 2 , for a 5 (th) to 95 (th) percentile interval increase, expressed as RRs per 1 μg/m 3 increases, hazard ratios seemed highest for EC (RR 1.04 [0.92-1.18]). In the subgroup of study participants with a history of cardiovascular disease, RR estimates seemed highest for noise exposure (1.19 [0.87-1.64] for L den); in the subgroup of elderly RR seemed highest for air pollution exposure (RR 1.24 [0.93-1.66] for NO 2 ).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Noise, Transportation / adverse effects*
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects*
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk
  • Vehicle Emissions / analysis


  • Particulate Matter
  • Vehicle Emissions