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Environ Health Perspect. 2019 May;127(5):57006. doi: 10.1289/EHP4389.

Long-Term Exposure to Road Traffic Noise and Incidence of Diabetes in the Danish Nurse Cohort.

Author information

1
1 Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
2 Juliane Marie Center, Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet , Copenhagen, Denmark.
3
3 DELTA Acoustics , Hørsholm, Denmark.
4
4 Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University , Roskilde, Denmark.
5
5 Diakonissestiftelsen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
6
6 Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital , Copenhagen, Denmark.
7
7 Nykøbing F Hospital, Centre for Epidemiological Research , Nykøbing F, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence on the association between road traffic noise and diabetes risk is sparse and inconsistent with respect to how confounding by air pollution was treated.

OBJECTIVES:

In this study, we aimed to examine whether long-term exposure to road traffic noise over 25 years is associated with incidence of diabetes, independent of air pollution.

METHODS:

A total of 28,731 female nurses from the Danish Nurse cohort ([Formula: see text] at recruitment in 1993 or 1999) were linked to the Danish National Diabetes Register with information on incidence of diabetes from 1995 until 2013. The annual mean weighted levels of 24-h average road traffic noise ([Formula: see text]) at nurses' residences from 1970 until 2013 were estimated with the Nord2000 method and annual mean levels of particulate matter (PM) with diameter [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]), nitrogen dioxide ([Formula: see text]), and nitrogen oxide ([Formula: see text]) with the Danish AirGIS modeling system. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to examine the association between residential [Formula: see text] in four different exposure windows (1-, 5-, 10-, and 25-years) and the incidence of diabetes, adjusted for lifestyle factors and air pollutants.

RESULTS:

Of 23,762 nurses free of diabetes at the cohort baseline, 1,158 developed diabetes during a mean follow-up of 15.2 years. We found weak positive associations between 5-y mean exposure to [Formula: see text] (per [Formula: see text] increase) and diabetes incidence in a crude model [hazard ratio (HR): 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99, 1.12], which attenuated in a model adjusted for lifestyle factors (HR:1.04; 95% CI: 0.97, 1.12), and reached unity after additional adjustment for [Formula: see text] (HR: 0.99; 0.91, 1.08). In analyses by level of urbanization, we found a positive association between noise and diabetes in urban areas (HR:1.27; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.63) that was unchanged after adjusting for [Formula: see text] (HR: 1.25; 95% CI: 0.97, 1.62), but we found no apparent association in provincial (HR: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.88, 1.18) or rural areas (HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.87, 1.08).

CONCLUSION:

In the nationwide cohort of Danish nurses 44 years of age and older, we found no association between long-term exposure to road traffic noise and diabetes incidence after adjustment for [Formula: see text] but found suggestive evidence of an association limited to urban areas. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4389.

PMID:
31084449
DOI:
10.1289/EHP4389
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