Saliva cortisol and exposure to aircraft noise in six European countries.

TitleSaliva cortisol and exposure to aircraft noise in six European countries.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSelander J, Bluhm G, Theorell T, Pershagen G, Babisch W, Seiffert I, Houthuijs D, Breugelmans O, Vigna-Taglianti F, Antoniotti M C, Velonakis E, Davou E, Dudley M-L, Järup L
Corporate AuthorsHYENA Consortium
JournalEnviron Health Perspect
Date Published2009 Nov
KeywordsAged, Aircraft, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cross-Sectional Studies, Environmental Exposure, Europe, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Male, Middle Aged, Noise, Transportation, Saliva, Sex Factors, Time Factors

BACKGROUND: Several studies show an association between exposure to aircraft or road traffic noise and cardiovascular effects, which may be mediated by a noise-induced release of stress hormones.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to assess saliva cortisol concentration in relation to exposure to aircraft noise.

METHOD: A multicenter cross-sectional study, HYENA (Hypertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports), comprising 4,861 persons was carried out in six European countries. In a subgroup of 439 study participants, selected to enhance the contrast in exposure to aircraft noise, saliva cortisol was assessed three times (morning, lunch, and evening) during 1 day.

RESULTS: We observed an elevation of 6.07 nmol/L [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.32-9.81 nmol/L] in morning saliva cortisol level in women exposed to aircraft noise at an average 24-hr sound level (L(Aeq,24h)) > 60 dB, compared with women exposed to L(Aeq,24h) < or = 50 dB, corresponding to an increase of 34%. Employment status appeared to modify the response. We found no association between noise exposure and saliva cortisol levels in men.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that exposure to aircraft noise increases morning saliva cortisol levels in women, which could be of relevance for noise-related cardiovascular effects.

Alternate JournalEnviron. Health Perspect.
PubMed ID20049122