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Long-term exposure to road traffic noise, ambient air pollution, and cardiovascular risk factors in the HUNT and lifelines cohorts

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posted on 28.02.2019, 09:34 by Y Cai, AL Hansell, M Blangiardo, PR Burton, BioSHaRE, K de Hoogh, D Doiron, I Fortier, J Gulliver, K Hveem, S Mbatchou, DW Morley, RP Stolk, WL Zijlema, P Elliott, S Hodgson
Aims: Blood biochemistry may provide information on associations between road traffic noise, air pollution, and cardiovascular disease risk. We evaluated this in two large European cohorts (HUNT3, Lifelines). Methods and results: Road traffic noise exposure was modelled for 2009 using a simplified version of the Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU). Annual ambient air pollution (PM10, NO2) at residence was estimated for 2007 using a Land Use Regression model. The statistical platform DataSHIELD was used to pool data from 144 082 participants aged ≥20 years to enable individual-level analysis. Generalized linear models were fitted to assess cross-sectional associations between pollutants and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), blood lipids and for (Lifelines only) fasting blood glucose, for samples taken during recruitment in 2006-2013. Pooling both cohorts, an inter-quartile range (IQR) higher day-time noise (5.1 dB(A)) was associated with 1.1% [95% confidence interval (95% CI: 0.02-2.2%)] higher hsCRP, 0.7% (95% CI: 0.3-1.1%) higher triglycerides, and 0.5% (95% CI: 0.3-0.7%) higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL); only the association with HDL was robust to adjustment for air pollution. An IQR higher PM10 (2.0 µg/m3) or NO2 (7.4 µg/m3) was associated with higher triglycerides (1.9%, 95% CI: 1.5-2.4% and 2.2%, 95% CI: 1.6-2.7%), independent of adjustment for noise. Additionally for NO2, a significant association with hsCRP (1.9%, 95% CI: 0.5-3.3%) was seen. In Lifelines, an IQR higher noise (4.2 dB(A)) and PM10 (2.4 µg/m3) was associated with 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1-0.3%) and 0.6% (95% CI: 0.4-0.7%) higher fasting glucose respectively, with both remaining robust to adjustment for air/noise pollution. Conclusion: Long-term exposures to road traffic noise and ambient air pollution were associated with blood biochemistry, providing a possible link between road traffic noise/air pollution and cardio-metabolic disease risk.


European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union-BioSHaRE-EU (Grant Number 261433). DataSHIELD development is also partly funded under a strategic award from UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome Trust underpinning the ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) project; and the Welsh and Scottish Farr Institutes funded by MRC, BBMRI-LPC (EU-FP7, I3 grant). The Lifelines Cohort Study, and generation and management of GWAS genotype data for the Lifelines Cohort Study is supported by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research NWO (Grant Number 175.010.2007.006); the Ministry of Economic Affairs; the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports; the Northern Netherlands Collaboration of Provinces (SNN); the Province of Groningen; University Medical Center Groningen, the University of Groningen; Dutch Kidney Foundation; and Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation. ESCAPE project was supported by European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2011) (Grant Number 211250). The MRC-PHE centre for Environment and Health is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and Public Health England (Grant Number MR/L01341X/1). This work used the computing resources of the UK MEDical BIOinformatics partnership (UK MED-BIO) which is supported by the Medical Research Council (Grant Number MR/L01632X/1). Y.C. acknowledges support from the Early-Career Research Fellowship awarded by the UK Medical Research Council-Public Health England Centre for Environment and Health (Grant Number MR/M501669/1).



Eur Heart J, 2017, 38 (29), pp. 2290-2296

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment


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Eur Heart J


Oxford University Press for European Society of Cardiology



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