Studies have shown a higher risk of hypertension for subjects exposed to high levels of occupational or environmental noise. The large body of literature on the association between noise level and noise annoyance shows a clear dose-response relationship between the two. The association between the subjective perception of the sound - noise annoyance - and high blood pressure, however, was rarely investigated. In the EU-funded HYENA study noise level and noise annoyances due to aircraft and road traffic noise were assessed, as well as determinants of high blood pressure, including measured systolic and diastolic blood pressure, anti-hypertensive medication and self-reported doctor diagnosed hypertension. The study sample comprises 5,055 persons aged 45 to 70, who had lived at least five years near any of six major European airports. The study subjects filled in a standardized noise questionnaire using the 11-point ICBEN scale. A distinction was made between the annoyance during the day and during the night. Multiple regression analyses revealed significant associations between annoyances regarding both noise sources and high blood pressure. The results, which are preliminary, were adjusted for possible confounding factors.
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