Aims: Blood biochemistry may provide information on associations between road traffic noise, air pollution, and cardiovascular disease risk. We evaluated this in two large European cohorts (HUNT3, Lifelines).
Methods and results: Road traffic noise exposure was modelled for 2009 using a simplified version of the Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU). Annual ambient air pollution (PM10, NO2) at residence was estimated for 2007 using a Land Use Regression model. The statistical platform DataSHIELD was used to pool data from 144 082 participants aged ≥20 years to enable individual-level analysis. Generalized linear models were fitted to assess cross-sectional associations between pollutants and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), blood lipids and for (Lifelines only) fasting blood glucose, for samples taken during recruitment in 2006-2013. Pooling both cohorts, an inter-quartile range (IQR) higher day-time noise (5.1 dB(A)) was associated with 1.1% [95% confidence interval (95% CI: 0.02-2.2%)] higher hsCRP, 0.7% (95% CI: 0.3-1.1%) higher triglycerides, and 0.5% (95% CI: 0.3-0.7%) higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL); only the association with HDL was robust to adjustment for air pollution. An IQR higher PM10 (2.0 µg/m3) or NO2 (7.4 µg/m3) was associated with higher triglycerides (1.9%, 95% CI: 1.5-2.4% and 2.2%, 95% CI: 1.6-2.7%), independent of adjustment for noise. Additionally for NO2, a significant association with hsCRP (1.9%, 95% CI: 0.5-3.3%) was seen. In Lifelines, an IQR higher noise (4.2 dB(A)) and PM10 (2.4 µg/m3) was associated with 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1-0.3%) and 0.6% (95% CI: 0.4-0.7%) higher fasting glucose respectively, with both remaining robust to adjustment for air/noise pollution.
Conclusion: Long-term exposures to road traffic noise and ambient air pollution were associated with blood biochemistry, providing a possible link between road traffic noise/air pollution and cardio-metabolic disease risk.
Keywords: Air pollution; Blood glucose; Blood lipids; Systemic inflammation; Traffic noise.
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