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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Aug 31;16(17). pii: E3178. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16173178.

Aircraft Noise Effects on Sleep-Results of a Pilot Study Near Philadelphia International Airport.

Author information

1
Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. basner@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
2
Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

Current objective data on aircraft noise effects on sleep are needed in the US to inform policy. In this pilot field study, heart rate and body movements were continuously measured during sleep of residents living in the vicinity of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and in a control region without aircraft noise with sociodemographic characteristics similar to the exposed region (N = 40 subjects each). The primary objective was to establish the feasibility of unattended field measurements. A secondary objective was to compare objective and subjective measures of sleep and health between control and aircraft noise exposed groups. For all measurements, there was less than 10% of data loss, demonstrating the feasibility of unattended home measurements. Based on 2375 recorded aircraft noise events, we found a significant (unadjusted p = 0.0136) exposure-response function between the maximum sound pressure level of aircraft noise events and awakening probability inferred from heart rate increases and body movements, which was similar to previous studies. Those living near the airport reported poorer sleep quality and poorer health than the control group in general, but when asked in the morning about their last night's sleep, no significant difference was found between groups. Neither systolic nor diastolic morning blood pressures differed between study regions. While this study demonstrates the feasibility of unattended field study measurements, for a national study around multiple US airports refinements of the study design are necessary to further lower methodological expense and increase participation rates.

KEYWORDS:

aircraft; airport; arousal; awakening; health; noise; sleep

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