Impact of road traffic noise on obesity measures: Observational study of three European cohorts

Yutong Cai*, Wilma L. Zijlema, Elin Pettersen Sørgjerd, Dany Doiron, Kees de Hoogh, Susan Hodgson, Bruce Wolffenbuttel, John Gulliver, Anna L. Hansell, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Kazem Rahimi, Kirsti Kvaløy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Environmental stressors such as transport noise may contribute to development of obesity through increased levels of stress hormones, sleep deprivation and endocrine disruption. Epidemiological evidence supporting an association of road traffic noise with obesity markers is still relatively scant and confined to certain geographical regions. We aimed to examine the cross-sectional associations between road traffic noise and obesity markers in three large European cohorts involving nearly 500,000 individuals. Methods: Three population-based cohorts (UK Biobank, Lifelines, HUNT3) were established between 2006 and 2013 in the UK, the Netherlands and Norway respectively. For all three cohorts, residential 24-h road traffic noise (Lden) for 2009 was modelled from a standardised European noise assessment framework. Residential exposures to NO2 for 2007 and PM2.5 for 2010 were estimated from Europe-wide land use regression models. Obesity markers including body mass index and waist circumference were measured at recruitment. Obesity and central obesity status were subsequently derived. Regression models were fitted in each cohort, adjusting for a harmonised set of demographic and lifestyle covariates, with further adjustments for air pollution in the main model. Results: The main analyses included 412,934 participants of UK Biobank, 61,032 of Lifelines and 30,305 of HUNT3, with a mean age of 43–56 years and Lden ranging 42–89 dB(A) across cohorts. In UK Biobank, per 10 dB(A) higher of Lden: BMI was higher by 0.14kg/m2 (95%CI: 0.11–0.18), waist circumference higher by 0.27 cm (95%CI: 0.19–0.35), odds of obesity was 1.06 (95%CI: 1.04–1.08) and of central obesity was 1.05 (95%CI: 1.04–1.07). These associations were robust to most other sensitivity analyses but attenuated by further adjustment of PM2.5 or area-level socioeconomic status. Associations were more pronounced among women, those with low physical activity, higher household income or hearing impairment. In HUNT3, associations were observed for obesity or central obesity status among those exposed to Lden greater than 55 dB(A). In contrast, no or negative associations were observed in the Lifelines cohort. Conclusions: This largest study to date providing mixed findings on impacts of long-term exposure to road traffic noise on obesity, which necessitates future analyses using longitudinal data to further investigate this potentially important epidemiological link.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110013
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was completed with support for Y.C from the PEAK Urban programme, funded by UKRI's Global Challenge Research Fund (Grant number: ES /P011055/1).

Funding Information:
This research is funded by European Union Seventh Framework Programme ( FP7 /2007–2013) Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union-BioSHaRE-EU (Grant Number 261433).

Funding Information:
UK Biobank was established by the Wellcome Trust medical charity, Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish Government and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It has also had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK .

Funding Information:
This research is funded by European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007?2013) Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union-BioSHaRE-EU (Grant Number 261433).UK Biobank was established by the Wellcome Trust medical charity, Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish Government and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It has also had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.The MRC Centre for Environment and Health is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (Grant number: MR/S019669/1).Y.C acknowledges support from a MRC early-career research fellowship (Grant number: MR/M501669/1) at the MRC centre for Environment and Health; W.L. Zijlema is supported by a Sara Borrell grant from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CD17/00195); E.P. S?rgjerd and K. Kval?y was supported by Liaison Committee between the Central Norway Regional Health Authority (RHA) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (grant 90154900 and 46056734).This article was completed with support for Y.C from the PEAK Urban programme, funded by UKRI's Global Challenge Research Fund (Grant number: ES/P011055/1).

Funding Information:
Y.C acknowledges support from a MRC early-career research fellowship (Grant number: MR/M501669/1) at the MRC centre for Environment and Health; W.L. Zijlema is supported by a Sara Borrell grant from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CD17/00195); E.P. Sørgjerd and K. Kvaløy was supported by Liaison Committee between the Central Norway Regional Health Authority (RHA) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology ( NTNU ) (grant 90154900 and 46056734).

Funding Information:
The MRC Centre for Environment and Health is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (Grant number: MR/S019669/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Central obesity
  • Noise
  • Pollution
  • Traffic

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