Association of residential noise exposure with maternal anxiety and depression in late pregnancy

Environ Int. 2022 Oct:168:107473. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107473. Epub 2022 Aug 17.


Background: Noise is one of the most important environmental risk factors that adversely affects human health. Residential noise exposure has been associated with increased risk of anxiety and depression in the general population. However, limited study has been conducted in pregnant women.

Objective: To examine the associations of residential noise exposure with prenatal anxiety and depression.

Methods: Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Center for Epidemiological Survey Scale (CES-D) were used to assess the status of prenatal anxiety and depression for 2,018 pregnant women in Shanghai, China. Residential noise exposure was represented by a land use regression model. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to estimate the associations of noise exposure with prenatal anxiety and depression.

Results: The prevalence rates of prenatal anxiety and depression were 7.5 % and 8.1 %, respectively. The mean (±standard deviation) residential noise exposure during the whole pregnancy was 60.69 (±3.31) dB (A). Higher residential noise exposure was associated with increased odds of both prenatal anxiety and depression. Compared with low level of noise exposure group (<65 dB(A)), the odds of prenatal anxiety and depression increased 69 % (OR = 1.69, 95 % CI, 1.01-2.82) and 71 % (OR = 1.71, 95 % CI, 1.05-2.80) in higher noise exposure group (≥65 dB(A)), respectively. Stratified analyses showed that the associations were stronger among pregnant women with lower socioeconomic status.

Conclusion: Residential noise exposure during pregnancy might be a risk factor for prenatal anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Cross-sectional study; Environmental noise; Late pregnancy; Mental health.