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Open AccessArticle

Hypotension and Environmental Noise: A Replication Study

Division of Social Medicine, Medical University Innsbruck, Sonnenburgstrasse 16, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
AUDI AG, I/ET, D-85045 Ingolstadt, Germany
Oekoscience-Institute, CH-7000 Chur, Werkstrasse 2, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 8661-8688;
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Up to now, traffic noise effect studies focused on hypertension as health outcome. Hypotension has not been considered as a potential health outcome although in experiments some people also responded to noise with decreases of blood pressure. Currently, the characteristics of these persons are not known and whether this down regulation of blood pressure is an experimental artifact, selection, or can also be observed in population studies is unanswered. In a cross-sectional replication study, we randomly sampled participants (age 20–75, N = 807) from circular areas (radius = 500 m) around 31 noise measurement sites from four noise exposure strata (35–44, 45–54, 55–64, >64 Leq, dBA). Repeated blood pressure measurements were available for a smaller sample (N = 570). Standardized information on socio-demographics, housing, life style and health was obtained by door to door visits including anthropometric measurements. Noise and air pollution exposure was assigned by GIS based on both calculation and measurements. Reported hypotension or hypotension medication past year was the main outcome studied. Exposure-effect relationships were modeled with multiple non-linear logistic regression techniques using separate noise estimations for total, highway and rail exposure. Reported hypotension was significantly associated with rail and total noise exposure and strongly modified by weather sensitivity. Reported hypotension medication showed associations of similar size with rail and total noise exposure without effect modification by weather sensitivity. The size of the associations in the smaller sample with BMI as additional covariate was similar. Other important cofactors (sex, age, BMI, health) and moderators (weather sensitivity, adjacent main roads and associated annoyance) need to be considered as indispensible part of the observed relationship. This study confirms a potential new noise effect pathway and discusses potential patho-physiological routes of actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypotension; sex; age; traffic noise; rail noise; BMI; weather sensitivity; effect modification hypotension; sex; age; traffic noise; rail noise; BMI; weather sensitivity; effect modification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lercher, P.; Widmann, U.; Thudium, J. Hypotension and Environmental Noise: A Replication Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 8661-8688.

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