Noise annoyance - A modifier of the association between noise level and cardiovascular health?

Wolfgang Babisch*, Göran Pershagen, Jenny Selander, Danny Houthuijs, Oscar Breugelmans, Ennio Cadum, Federica Vigna-Taglianti, Klea Katsouyanni, Alexandros S. Haralabidis, Konstantina Dimakopoulou, Panayota Sourtzi, Sarah Floud, Anna L. Hansell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The effect modifying impact of annoyance due to aircraft noise and road traffic noise on the relationships between the aircraft noise level and road traffic noise level on the prevalence of hypertension was investigated in 4861 subjects of the HYENA study (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports). Methods: Different models were investigated either including the noise level and noise annoyance variables separately, or simultaneously, or together with an interaction term referring to the same noise source for the noise level and the noise annoyance. Results: Significant effect modification was found with respect to the association between aircraft noise and hypertension. The association was stronger in more annoyed subjects. No clear interaction was found with respect to road traffic noise. The comparison of the magnitude of the main effects (per standard deviation or inter-quartile range) of noise level and noise annoyance variables revealed stronger associations with hypertension for the noise levels. Conclusion: There is some indication that the noise level has a stronger predictive meaning for the relationship between noise exposure and hypertension than the reported noise annoyance (main effects). The results from the Hyena study support the hypothesis that noise annoyance acts as an effect modifier of the relationship between the noise level and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment, The
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The HYENA Study was funded by grants from the European Commission (Directorate General Research), Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources, Key Action 4: Environment and Health ( QLRT-2001-02501 ).


  • Aircraft noise
  • Annoyance
  • Effect modification
  • Hypertension
  • Interaction
  • Road traffic noise


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