Traffic noise and other determinants of blood pressure in adolescence

Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2019 Jun;222(5):824-830. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.04.012. Epub 2019 Apr 26.


Background: Exposure to traffic noise has been associated with hypertension in adults but the evidence in adolescents is limited. We investigated long-term road traffic noise exposure, maternal occupational noise during pregnancy and other factors in relation to blood pressure and prehypertension at 16 years of age.

Methods: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured in 2597 adolescents from the Swedish BAMSE birth cohort. Levels of road traffic noise were estimated at home addresses during lifetime and for the mother during pregnancy as well as maternal occupational noise exposure during pregnancy. Exposure to NOx from local sources was also assessed. Associations between noise or NOx exposure and blood pressure or prehypertension were analysed using linear and logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of prehypertension was higher among males and in those with overweight, low physical activity or overweight mothers. No strong or consistent associations were observed between pre- or postnatal exposure to road traffic noise and blood pressure at 16 years of age. However, inverse associations were suggested for systolic or diastolic blood pressure and prehypertension, which reached statistical significance among males (OR 0.80 per 10 dB Lden, 95% CI 0.65-0.99) and those with maternal occupational noise exposure ≥ 70 dB LAeq8h (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.41-0.87). On the other hand, occupational noise exposure during pregnancy tended to increase systolic blood pressure and prehypertension risk in adolescence. No associations were seen for NOx exposure.

Conclusion: No conclusive associations were observed between pre- or postnatal noise exposure and blood pressure or prehypertension in adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescents; Air pollution; Blood pressure; Occupational noise; Prehypertension; Traffic noise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Noise, Transportation / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects