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Exposure to noise may increase risk of hypertension

02 Dec 2017

Exposure to noise appears to be a predictor of hypertension, with a positive dose-response association between them, according to integrated epidemiological evidence from a recent meta-analysis.

The authors searched PubMed and Embase from inception through December 2016 to identify observational epidemiological studies analysing the association between noise and risk of hypertension. They used a random effects model to combine the results of included studies. Dose-response meta-analysis was done to examine the potential dose-response relationship.

A total of 32 studies (five cohort studies, one case-control study and 26 cross-sectional studies) were included, which involved 264,678 participants.

Based on the pooled result, living or working in environment with noise exposure could heighten the risk of hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.62; 95 percent CI, 1.40 to 1.88). There was no evidence of a curve linear association between noise and hypertension risk.

A dose-response analysis revealed that the combined OR of hypertension was 1.06 (1.04 to 1.08) for an increase of per 10 dB(A).

“An increasing amount of original studies suggested that exposure to noise could be associated with the risk of hypertension, but the results remain inconsistent and inconclusive,” the authors noted.

One such study was conducted by Huang and colleagues. They conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies and found that aircraft noise could contribute to the prevalence of hypertension. However, the evidence was inconclusive due to several limitations in study populations, exposure characterization and adjustment for important confounders. [Noise Health 2015;17:93-7]

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