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Traffic Noise and Physicians' Prescriptions of Drugs for Specific Diseases in the Urban Area of Rome

Ancona, Carla; Badaloni, Chiara; Cesaroni, Giulia; Kirchmayer, Ursula; Belleudi, Valeria; Forastiere, Francesco; Perucci, Carlo

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362794.15680.fe
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts: Symposia Presentations

Epidemiology Department Local health Authority ASL RomaE, Rome, Italy.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background and Objective:

Road traffic is the main source of urban noise. In the context of the Rome Longitudinal Study (RoLS), we analyzed the association between residential road traffic noise and prescriptions for drugs reimbursed by the National Health Service for health problems potentially related to noise exposure, namely hypertension, stress related gastric problems and depression.

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We selected 415,536 urban area residents, aged 46–71 years, who lived in the same place from 2001 to 2007. From the Regional Drug Dispense Registry, which comprises individual records for each medical prescription dispensed in public and private pharmacies, we selected drugs for hypertension (ATC codes: CO3, CO7, CO8, CO9), acid related disorders (AO2), and antidepressants (NO6A). On the basis of available traffic density data, Lday06.00–20.00 and Lnight22.00–06.00 sound levels from road traffic were estimated for each residence. The association between traffic noise (per 10 dB(A) increase of Lday and Lnight) and drug consumption (3+ prescriptions in a year for each ATC group) was analysed through logistic models.

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Average Lday was 63.6 (maximum 75.6) dB(A), and average Lnight was 53.3 (maximum 66.1) dB(A). The proportion exposed to Lday >70 dB(A) was 3.8% and Lnight >60 dB(A) was 3.7%. Adjusting for gender, age, education, socioeconomic level, and residential area, we found a statistically significant trend (per 10 dB(A)) for antihypertensive treatment (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 1.01–1.04) for both Lday and Lnight. The OR was 1.11 (95%CI 1.05–1.18) comparing the highest category of Lday 70+ versus <50 dB(A); for Lnight 60+ versus <40 dB(A) the OR was 1.05 (95%CI 1.02–1.09) No clear trend was observed for the other drugs.

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Community traffic noise exposure is associated with an increased level of drug prescriptions for hypertension.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.