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Noise exposure and childhood asthma up to adolescence

Journal article
Authors A. E. Wallas
C. Eriksson
Mikael Ögren
A. Pyko
M. Sjostrom
E. Melen
G. Pershagen
O. Gruzieva
Published in Environmental Research
Volume 185
ISSN 0013-9351
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Language en
Keywords Road traffic noise, Asthma, Children, Adolescents, Occupational noise, Cohort, reported traffic density, body-mass index, air-pollution, environmental, noise, children, association, admissions, rhinitis, allergy, disease, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Public, Environmental & Occupational, Health
Subject categories Environmental medicine


Objective: Increasing evidence indicates aggravation of immune-mediated diseases due to physiological and psychological stress. Noise is a stressor, however, little is known about its effects on children's respiratory health. This study investigates the association between pre- or postnatal road traffic or occupational noise exposure and asthma as well as related symptoms from infancy to adolescence. Methods: The study was conducted in the Swedish birth cohort BAMSE, including over 4000 participants followed with repeated questionnaires and clinical tests until 16 years of age. Pre- and postnatal residential road traffic noise was assessed by estimating time-weighted average noise levels at the most exposed facade. Maternal occupational noise exposure during pregnancy was evaluated using a job-exposure-matrix. The associations between noise exposure and asthma-related outcomes were explored using logistic regression and generalised estimating equations. Results: We observed non-significant associations for asthma ever up to 16 years with residential road traffic noise exposure in infancy >= 55 dB(Lden) (adjusted OR = 1.22; 95% CI 0.90-1.65), as well as prenatal occupational noise exposure >= 80 dB(LAeq,8h) (1.18, 0.85-1.62). In longitudinal analyses, however, no clear associations between pre- or postnatal exposure to residential road traffic noise, or average exposure to noise since birth, were detected in relation to asthma or wheeze until 16 years. Conclusion: We did not find a clear overall association between exposure to noise during different time periods and asthma or wheeze up to adolescence.

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