Association between Noise Annoyance and Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Xiangpu Gong, Benjamin Fenech, Claire Blackmore, Yingxin Chen, Georgia Rodgers, John Gulliver, Anna L. Hansell*

*Corresponding author for this work

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To date, most studies of noise and mental health have focused on noise exposure rather than noise annoyance. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate whether the available evidence supports an adverse association between noise annoyance and mental health problems in people. We carried out a literature search of Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, and conference proceedings published between 2000 and 2022. Thirteen papers met the inclusion criteria. We conducted meta-analyses of noise annoyance in relation to depression, anxiety, and general mental health. In the meta-analyses, we found that depression was approximately 1.23 times greater in those who were highly noise-annoyed (N = 8 studies). We found an approximately 55% higher risk of anxiety (N = 6) in highly noise-annoyed people. For general mental health (N = 5), highly annoyed participants had an almost 119% increased risk of mental health problems as assessed by Short Form (SF) or General Household Questionnaires (GHQ), but with high heterogeneity and risk of publication bias. In conclusion, findings are suggestive of a potential link between noise annoyance and poorer mental health based on a small number of studies. More evidence is needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2696
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded by the following grants: Public Health England. Toolkit for environmental noise burden of disease assessments (Tender Specification—ITT4285). UK’s National Institute of Health Research, grant number NIHR200901—Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Exposures and Health Development Award at the University of Leicester.

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Citation: Gong, X.; Fenech, B.; Blackmore, C.; Chen, Y.; Rodgers, G.; Gulliver, J.; Hansell, A.L. Association between Noise Annoyance and Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 2696.



  • Anxiety disorder
  • Depression
  • Environmental and neighborhood noise
  • General mental health
  • Mental health
  • Noise annoyance
  • Traffic noise


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