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Noise Health. 2013 Nov-Dec;15(67):388-97. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.121230.

Road traffic noise, air pollution components and cardiovascular events.

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Urban Environment and Safety, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), P.O. Box 49, 2600 AA, Delft; Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


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 (L den) 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 5 (th) to 95 (th) percentile interval increase were 1.03 (0.88-1.20) for L den; 1.04 (0.90-1.21) for particulate matter (PM 10 ); 1.05 (0.91-1.20) for elemental carbon (EC); and 1.12 (096-1.32) for nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) in the full model. While the risk estimate seemed highest for NO 2 , for a 5 (th) to 95 (th) percentile interval increase, expressed as RRs per 1 μg/m 3 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 L den); in the subgroup of elderly RR seemed highest for air pollution exposure (RR 1.24 [0.93-1.66] for NO 2 ).

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