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Relationship among long-term aircraft noise exposure, blood pressure profile, and arterial stiffness

Rojek, Martaa,b; Rajzer, Marek W.a; Wojciechowska, Wiktoriaa; Drożdż, Tomasza; Skalski, Pawełc; Pizoń, Tomasza,d; Januszewicz, Andrzeje; Czarnecka, Danutaa

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002060

Objective: To assess the impact of long-term exposure to aircraft noise on blood pressure (BP), prevalence of arterial hypertension, and indices of asymptomatic organ damage.

Methods: Using acoustic maps, we selected and further compared people living (average 35 years) in areas exposed to high, more than 60 dB (n = 101), and low aircraft noise, less than 55 dB (n = 100). Medical history taking, office BP measurement, ambulatory BP monitoring, and echocardiographic and arterial stiffness measurements were performed.

Results: Exposure to aircraft noise did not increase the prevalence of arterial hypertension (50%, both groups) but was associated with higher office (88.3 ± 11.4 vs. 79.8 ± 8.6 mmHg, P < 0.001) and night-time DBP (66.6 ± 9.5 vs. 63.6 ± 7.3 mmHg, P < 0.01). Participants exposed to a high aircraft noise level had a higher carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) (10.3 ± 1.8 vs. 9.4 ± 1.4 m/s, P < 0.01) and lower early mitral annulus velocity (e′) (8.4 ± 2.9 vs. 9.2 ± 3.4 cm/s, P = 0.047). These differences were independent of age, sex, BMI, education, time spent at home, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and antihypertensive treatment. Higher office and night-time DBP, PWV, and e′ values were explicitly observed in exposed normotensive participants. PWV in aircraft noise-exposed normotensive participants was equal to that of two decades older unexposed normotensive participants and was significantly associated with noise annoyance.

Conclusion: Long-term aircraft noise exposure is related to higher office and night-time DBP, more advanced arterial stiffness, and unfavourable left ventricle diastolic function changes. Accelerated arterial stiffening was observed in those exposed to aircraft noise, even normotensive participants, to a degree depending on noise annoyance.

a1st Department of Cardiology, Interventional Electrocardiology and Arterial Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

bMedical Faculty, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany

cInstitute of Aviation, Warsaw

dDepartment of Observational and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Kraków

eDepartment of Hypertension, Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence to Marek W. Rajzer, MD, PhD, 1st Department of Cardiology, Interventional Electrocardiology and Arterial Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 17 Mikolaja Kopernika St., Kraków 31-501, Poland. Tel: +48 12 424 73 00/+48 508 397 857; fax: +48 12 424 73 20; e-mail:

Abbreviations: ABPM, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; AH, arterial hypertension; A, late diastolic mitral flow peak velocity; BP, blood pressure; CI, confidence interval; e′, early mitral annulus velocity; E/e′, left ventricular filling pressure; E, early diastolic mitral flow peak velocity; HR, heart rate; LAVI, left atrium volume index; LV, left ventricle; PWV, pulse wave velocity; RWT, relative wall thickness

Received 25 October, 2018

Revised 10 January, 2019

Accepted 10 January, 2019

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