Associations of road traffic noise with mortality and hospital admissions in London

Jaana Halonen, Anna Hansell, John Gulliver, Marta Blangiardo, Daniela Fecht, Sean Beevers, Ross Anderson, Cathryn Tonne

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background and aims Previously published studies have found associations of road noise with hypertension, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially for stroke. We aimed to examine the chronic effects of road traffic noise on mortality and hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease and stroke in a large general population. Methods The study population consisted of 8.61 million inhabitants in London. We assessed small-area level associations of day- (7:00-22:59) and night-time (23:00-06:59) road traffic noise with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular hospital admissions in all adults (25+ years) with Poisson regression models applying the Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) approach in the Bayesian framework. We adjusted the models for age and sex, area-level deprivation, ethnicity, smoking, air pollution and a random effect. Results Mean daytime exposure to road traffic noise was 55.6 dB. Daytime noise was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in adults; relative risks (RR) for all-cause mortality were 1.04 (95% CI 1.00-1.07) in areas with daytime road noise >60 dB vs. <55 dB. Exposure to daytime road traffic noise also increased the risk of hospital admission for stroke with RR 1.05 (95% CI 1.02-1.09) in areas >60 dB vs. <55 dB. Night-time noise was not associated with road traffic noise in adults of all ages. Conclusions This is the largest study to date to investigate environmental noise and cardiovascular disease. It suggests that road traffic noise is associated with small increased risks of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event10th European Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, Euronoise 2015 - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jun 20153 Jun 2015


Conference10th European Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, Euronoise 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, Medical Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Department of Health [NE/I007806/1; NE/I00789X/1; NE/I008039/1] through the cross-research council Environmental Exposures & Health Initiative. The work of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) is funded by Public Health England as part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, and by the UK Medical Research Council.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © (2015) by EAA-NAG-ABAV, All rights reserved


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