Reproductive outcomes associated with noise exposure - A systematic review of the literature

Gordana Ristovska*, Helga Elvira Laszlo, Anna L. Hansell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: High noise exposure during critical periods in gestation is a potential stressor that may result in increased risk of implantation failure, dysregulation of placentation or decrease of uterine blood flow. This paper systematically reviews published evidence on associations between reproductive outcomes and occupational and environmental noise exposure. Methods: The Web of Science, PubMed and Embase electronic databases were searched for papers published between 1970 to June 2014 and via colleagues. We included 14 epidemiological studies related to occupational noise exposure and nine epidemiological studies related to environmental noise exposure. There was some evidence for associations between occupational noise exposure and low birthweight, preterm birth and small for gestational age, either independently or together with other occupational risk factors. Five of six epidemiologic studies, including the two largest studies, found significant associations between lower birthweight and higher noise exposure. There were few studies on other outcomes and study design issues may have led to bias in assessments in some studies. Conclusions: There is evidence for associations between noise exposure and adverse reproductive outcomes from animal studies. Few studies in have been conducted in humans but there is some suggestive evidence of adverse associations with environmental noise from both occupational and epidemiological studies, especially for low birthweight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7931-7952
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Birthweight
  • Exposure assessment
  • Gestation length
  • Noise
  • Review
  • Spontaneous abortion


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