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Open AccessArticle

A Multilevel Analysis of Perceived Noise Pollution, Geographic Contexts and Mental Health in Beijing

Beijing Key Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Environment and Digital Cities, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Natural History Building, MC-150, 1301 W Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80125, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1479;
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
With rapid urbanization and increase in car ownership, ambient noise pollution resulting from diversified sources (e.g., road traffic, railway, commercial services) has become a severe environmental problem in the populated areas in China. However, research on the spatial variation of noise pollution and its potential effects on urban residents’ mental health has to date been quite scarce in developing countries like China. Using a health survey conducted in Beijing in 2017, we for the first time investigated the spatial distributions of multiple noise pollution perceived by residents in Beijing, including road traffic noise, railway (or subway) noise, commercial noise, and housing renovation (or construction) noise. Our results indicate that there is geographic variability in noise pollution at the neighborhood scale, and road traffic and housing renovation/construction are the principal sources of noise pollution in Beijing. We then employed Bayesian multilevel logistic models to examine the associations between diversified noise pollution and urban residents’ mental health symptoms, including anxiety, stress, fatigue, headache, and sleep disturbance, while controlling for a wide range of confounding factors such as socio-demographics, objective built environment characteristics, social environment and geographic context. The results show that perceived higher noise-pollution exposure is significantly associated with worse mental health, while physical environment variables seem to contribute little to variations in self-reported mental disorders, except for proximity to the main road. Social factors or socio-demographic attributes, such as age and income, are significant covariates of urban residents’ mental health, while the social environment (i.e., community attachment) and housing satisfaction are significantly correlated with anxiety and stress. This study provides empirical evidence on the noise-health relationships in the Chinese context and sheds light on the policy implications for environmental pollution mitigation and healthy city development in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: noise pollution; mental disorders; built environment; multilevel model; China noise pollution; mental disorders; built environment; multilevel model; China
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Ma, J.; Li, C.; Kwan, M.-P.; Chai, Y. A Multilevel Analysis of Perceived Noise Pollution, Geographic Contexts and Mental Health in Beijing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1479.

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