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Road traffic noise, air pollution components and cardiovascular events

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Author: Kluizenaar, Y. de · Lenthe, F.J. van · Visschedijk, A.J.H. · Zandveld, P.Y.J · Miedema, H.M.E. · Mackenbach, J.P.
Source:Noise and Health, November-December, 67, 15, 388-397
Identifier: 483176
doi: doi:10.4103/1463-1741.121230
Keywords: Acoustics and Audiology Traffic Environment Health · Air pollution · Cardiovascular effects · Cerebrovascular disease · Ischemic heart disease · Particulate matter · Road traffic noise · Urban Development · Built Environment · Earth & Environment · UES - Urban Environment & Safety CAS - Climate, Air and Sustainability · EELS - Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences


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 (Lden) 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 5th to 95th percentile interval increase were 1.03 (0.88-1.20) for Lden; 1.04 (0.90-1.21) for particulate matter (PM10); 1.05 (0.91-1.20) for elemental carbon (EC); and 1.12 (096-1.32) for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the full model. While the risk estimate seemed highest for NO2, for a 5th to 95th percentile interval increase, expressed as RRs per 1 μg/m3 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 Lden); in the subgroup of elderly RR seemed highest for air pollution exposure (RR 1.24 [0.93-1.66] for NO2).