Cardiovascular Health Effects of Road Traffic Noise
The most common source of environmental noise is road traffic. Environmental noise is being increasingly recognised as being associated with long-term impacts on health, in addition to causing annoyance and sleep disturbance. In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in estimating population-level exposures to road traffic noise that permit large-scale epidemiological studies. While studies are not fully consistent, a relatively small number have been conducted to date. For hypertension and ischaemic heart disease, where enough studies have been conducted for combination in a meta-analysis, small but statistically significant associations showing increasing risks with increasing exposure to noise have been demonstrated. Further evidence from longitudinal studies is needed in order to refine estimates and also to examine potential mechanisms and intermediate outcomes such as inflammatory biomarkers and atherosclerosis.