Road traffic noise appears to be associated with an increased risk of ischaemic heart disease

In February 2018 researchers from the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland published their review on the effect of environmental noise exposure on the cardio-metabolic systems and provided input for the new World Health Organisation (WHO) environmental noise guidelines for the European Region. Although a total of 600 references were identified in the scientific literature that covered noise from road, rail and air traffic, as well as on noise from wind turbines, only 61 included information on a noise-exposure response relationship. The majority of these studies concerned traffic noise and hypertension but most showed a high risk of bias. However, there was high quality evidence that showed an association between road traffic noise and the incidence of ischaemic heart disease. These studies showed that the risk increased for each increment of 10 dB(A) of noise. Only a few studies covered the association between transport noise and stroke, diabetes, and/or obesity but the quality of evidence was rated from moderate to very low, depending on the source of the noise and outcome.

Kempen EV et al. WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects: A Summary. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Feb 22;15(2). pii: E379.

Leave a Reply