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Psychol Med. 1990 May;20(2):395-411.

Aircraft noise and social factors in psychiatric hospital admission rates: a re-examination of some data.

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SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.

Erratum in

  • Psychol Med 1990 Nov;20(4):1022.


Jenkins et al. (1981) published data on rates of admission to three psychiatric hospitals for 12 large samples of people living near London's Heathrow Airport. The percentages of people who were classified as being affluent, living alone, males having moved within last five years, unemployed, and immigrants, as well as the levels of aircraft noise to which they were exposed, were given for each of the samples. Multiple-correlation analyses revealed the following: (1) movement of males in the previous five years was not generally associated with hospital admission rates; (2) immigrant status, living alone, and affluence were negatively, and generally statistically significantly, associated with admission rates; and (3) unemployment and level of exposure to aircraft noise were positively, and generally statistically significantly, associated with admission rates. Unlike the conclusion reached by Jenkins et al., it is concluded from the present analysis of their data that there are statistically significant associations between psychiatric hospital admission rates and level of exposure to aircraft noise. This difference in findings appears to be due to a more comprehensive assessment of the interrelations of all the tested socioeconomic and aircraft noise variables by the multiple-correlation procedure used in the present analysis, in comparison with the graphic modelling assessment applied by Jenkins et al. to a limited portion of the socioeconomic data. Together, the five socioeconomic and aircraft noise variables correlate at about 0.98 with hospitalization rates for most population groups.

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