The role of aircraft noise annoyance and noise sensitivity in the association between aircraft noise levels and hypertension risk: Results of a pooled analysis from seven European countries

Clémence Baudin, Marie Lefèvre, Wolfgang Babisch, Ennio Cadum, Patricia Champelovier, Konstantina Dimakopoulou, Danny Houthuijs, Jacques Lambert, Bernard Laumon, Göran Pershagen, Stephen Stansfeld, Venetia Velonaki, Anna Hansell, Anne Sophie Evrard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Many studies, including the HYENA and the DEBATS studies, showed a significant association between aircraft noise exposure and the risk of hypertension. Few studies have considered aircraft noise annoyance and noise sensitivity as factors of interest, especially in relation to hypertension risk, or as mediating or modifying factors. The present study aims 1) to investigate the risk of hypertension in relation to aircraft noise annoyance or noise sensitivity; and 2) to examine the role of modifier or mediator of these two factors in the association between aircraft noise levels and the risk of hypertension. Methods: This study included 6,105 residents of ten European airports from the HYENA and DEBATS studies. Information on aircraft noise annoyance, noise sensitivity, and demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors was collected during an interview performed at home. Participants were classified as hypertensive if they had either blood pressure levels above the WHO cut-off points or physician-diagnosed hypertension in conjunction with the use of antihypertensive medication. Outdoor aircraft noise exposure was estimated for each participant's home address. Poisson regression models with adjustment for potential confounders were used. Interactions between noise exposure and country were tested to consider possible differences between countries. Results: An increase in aircraft noise levels at night was weekly but significantly associated with an increased risk of hypertension (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.01–1.06 for a 10-dB(A) increase in Lnight). A significant association was found between aircraft noise annoyance and hypertension risk (RR = 1.06, 95%CI 1.00–1.13 for highly annoyed people compared to those who were not highly annoyed). The risk of hypertension was slightly higher for people highly sensitive to noise compared to people with low sensitivity in the UK (RR = 1.29, 95%CI 1.05-1.59) and in France (RR = 1.11, 95%CI 0.68-1.82), but not in the other countries. The association between aircraft noise levels and the risk of hypertension was higher among highly sensitive participants (RR = 1.00, 95%CI 0.96–1.04; RR = 1.03, 95%CI 0.90–1.11; RR = 1.12, 95%CI 1.01–1.24, with a 10-dB(A) increase in Lnight for low, medium, and high sensitive people respectively) or, to a lesser extent, among highly annoyed participants (RR = 1.06, 95%CI 0.95-1.18 for a 10-dB(A) increase in Lnight among highly annoyed participants, and RR = 1.02, 95%CI 0.99–1.06 among those not highly annoyed). Conclusions: The present study confirms findings in the small number of available studies to date suggesting adverse health effects associated with aircraft noise annoyance and noise sensitivity. The findings also indicate possible modifier effects of aircraft noise annoyance and noise sensitivity in the relationship between aircraft noise levels and the risk of hypertension. However, further investigations are needed to better understand this role using specific methodology and tools related to mediation analysis and causal inference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110179
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The DEBATS study was supported by funds from the French Ministry of Health , the French Ministry of the Environment , the French Civil Aviation Authority, and the Airport Pollution Control Authority. The authors would like to thank them for their kind assistance.

Funding Information:
The HYENA study was funded by a grant from the European Commission (Directorate General Research) in the Fifth Framework Programme, Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources, Key Action 4 - Environment and Health (grant QLRT-2001-02501).The DEBATS study was supported by funds from the French Ministry of Health, the French Ministry of the Environment, the French Civil Aviation Authority, and the Airport Pollution Control Authority. The authors would like to thank them for their kind assistance.The present study was sustained by a grant from the European and International Affairs Department (DAEI) of fsttar (French Institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks).

Funding Information:
The present study was sustained by a grant from the European and International Affairs Department (DAEI) of fsttar (French Institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks).

Funding Information:
The HYENA study was funded by a grant from the European Commission (Directorate General Research) in the Fifth Framework Programme , Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources, Key Action 4 - Environment and Health (grant QLRT-2001-02501 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Keywords

  • Aircraft noise annoyance
  • Aircraft noise exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Noise sensitivity

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of aircraft noise annoyance and noise sensitivity in the association between aircraft noise levels and hypertension risk: Results of a pooled analysis from seven European countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this