Long-term exposure to residential railway and road traffic noise and risk for diabetes in a Danish cohort

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Abstract

Background

Road traffic noise exposure has been found associated with diabetes incidence. Evidence for an association between railway noise exposure is less clear, as large studies with detailed railway noise modelling are lacking.

Purpose

To investigate the association between residential railway noise and diabetes incidence, and to repeat previous analyses on road traffic noise and diabetes with longer follow-up time.

Methods

Among 50,534 middle-aged Danes enrolled into the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort from 1993 to 97, we identified 5062 cases of incident diabetes during a median follow-up of 15.5 years. Present and historical residential addresses from 1987 to 2012 were found in national registries, and railway and road traffic noise (Lden) were modelled for all addresses, using the Nordic prediction method. We used Cox proportional hazard models to investigate the association between residential traffic noise over 1 and 5 years before diagnosis, and diabetes incidence. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated as crude and adjusted for potential confounders.

Results

We found no association between railway noise exposure and diabetes incidence among the 9527 persons exposed, regardless of exposure time-window: HR 0.99 (0.94–1.04) per 10 dB for 5-year exposure in fully adjusted models. There was no effect modification by sex, road traffic noise, and education. We confirmed the previously found association between road traffic noise exposure and diabetes including 6 additional years of follow-up: HR 1.08 (1.04–1.13) per 10 dB for 5-year exposure in fully adjusted models.

Conclusion

The study does not suggest an association between residential railway noise exposure and diabetes incidence, but supports the finding of a direct association with residential road traffic noise.

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