Background: Chronic noise is an environmental pollutant and well-known to cause annoyance and sleep disturbance. Its association with clinical and subclinical adverse health effects has been discussed. Objectives: This systematic review aimed to examine associations between chronic noise exposure during pregnancy or childhood and health outcomes in early and late childhood. Methods: Following a systematic electronic literature search (MEDLINE, EMBASE), an additional hand search and a critical evaluation of potential articles by 2 independent reviewers, 29 studies were included: 12 on pregnancy/birth outcomes with samples ranging from 115 to 22,761 and 17 on cardiovascular and immune-mediated health outcomes in childhood with samples ranging from 43 to 1542. Evidence levels (3 to 2++) were rated according to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. Results: Chronic noise exposure during pregnancy was not associated with birth weight, preterm birth, congenital anomalies, perinatal and neonatal death based on 6 cohort, 4 case-control, and 2 cross-sectional studies (highest evidence level 2+). There was some evidence supporting an association of chronic noise exposure with increased systolic blood pressure and stress hormone levels in urine and saliva in children evaluating 2 cohort and 15 cross-sectional studies (highest evidence level 2-). Conclusions: There seemed to be no associations between chronic noise and pregnancy outcomes based on studies with evidence levels up to 2+. Associations between chronic noise and health in children were based mainly on cross-sectional studies. However, the studies included in this comprehensive systematic review showed a high variation in study design, outcome, exposure and confounder assessments.
|Journal||International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2013|
- Chronic noise
- Noise exposure
- Birth outcomes
- Paediatric outcomes