Association between exposure to noise and risk of hypertension: a meta-analysis of observational epidemiological studies

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An increasing amount of original studies suggested that exposure to noise could be associated with the risk of hypertension, but the results remain inconsistent and inconclusive. We aimed to synthesize available epidemiological evidence about the relationship between various types of noise and hypertension, and to explore the potential dose–response relationship between them in an up-to-date meta-analysis.


We conducted a literature search of PubMed and Embase from these databases’ inception through December 2016 to identify observational epidemiological studies examining the association between noise and risk of hypertension. A random effects model was used to combine the results of included studies. Dose–response meta-analysis was conducted to examine the potential dose–response relationship.


In total, 32 studies (five cohort studies, one case–control study, and 26 cross-section studies) involving 264 678 participants were eligible for inclusion. Pooled result showed that living or working in environment with noise exposure was significantly associated with increased risk of hypertension (odds ratio 1.62; 95% confidence interval: 1.40–1.88). We found no evidence of a curve linear association between noise and risk of hypertension. A dose–response analysis suggested that, for an increment of per 10 dB(A) of noise, the combined odds ratio of hypertension was 1.06 (95% confidence interval: 1.04–1.08).


Integrated epidemiological evidence supports the hypothesis that exposure to noise may be a risk factor of hypertension, and there is a positive dose–response association between them.

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