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Noise Health. 2018 Sep-Oct;20(96):171-177. doi: 10.4103/nah.NAH_62_17.

Health-related quality of life is impacted by proximity to an airport in noise-sensitive people.

Author information

School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Department of Psychology, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



The aim of the study was to determine whether those who are noise sensitive are more adversely affected by airport noise than those who are not noise sensitive.

Participants and Methods:

One area was very close to Wellington International Airport and the other was distant from the airport and any other major sources of noise such as motorways and railways. Noise sensitivity was self-rated on a three-point scale as follows: non-noise sensitive, moderately noise sensitive, or highly noise sensitive. Statistical analysis consisted of analyses of variance using the domains of the WHOQOL score with the year, area (airport or the control), and noise sensitivity as covariates.


Noise-sensitive people were found to have a significantly poorer HRQOL than others when they lived near an airport, but not when they lived in the control area. The same effect was present at both of the time points investigated, suggesting that it is a general finding.


This finding is consistent with similar studies using the WHOQOL-BREF for investigating noise from road traffic, suggesting consistency in effect across transport noise sources.


Aircraft; WHOQOL; annoyance; noise; questionnaire; sensitivity

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