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Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:263-271. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.10.017. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Association between aircraft, road and railway traffic noise and depression in a large case-control study based on secondary data.

Author information

1
Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany. Electronic address: Andreas.Seidler@mailbox.tu-dresden.de.
2
Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany.
3
Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany; Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
4
Institute of Social Medicine and Health Economics, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany.
5
Department of Prevention and Evaluation, Leibniz-Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS, Bremen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have examined the relationship between traffic noise and depression providing inconclusive results. This large case-control study is the first to assess and directly compare depression risks by aircraft, road traffic and railway noise.

METHODS:

The study population included individuals aged ≥40 years that were insured by three large statutory health insurance funds and were living in the region of Frankfurt international airport. Address-specific exposure to aircraft, road and railway traffic noise in 2005 was estimated. Based on insurance claims and prescription data, 77,295 cases with a new clinical depression diagnosis between 2006 and 2010 were compared with 578,246 control subjects.

RESULTS:

For road traffic noise, a linear exposure-risk relationship was found with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.17 (95% CI=1.10-1.25) for 24-h continuous sound levels ≥70dB. For aircraft noise, the risk estimates reached a maximum OR of 1.23 (95% CI=1.19-1.28) at 50-55dB and decreased at higher exposure categories. For railway noise, risk estimates peaked at 60-65dB (OR=1.15, 95% CI=1.08-1.22). The highest OR of 1.42 (95% CI=1.33-1.52) was found for a combined exposure to noise above 50dB from all three sources.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study indicates that traffic noise exposure might lead to depression. As a potential explanation for the decreasing risks at high traffic noise levels, vulnerable people might actively cope with noise (e.g. insulate or move away).

KEYWORDS:

Aircraft noise; Case-control study; Depression; Railway noise; Road traffic noise

PMID:
27816007
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2016.10.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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