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Road traffic noise and markers of adiposity in the Danish Nurse Cohort: A cross-sectional study

Cramer, Johannah, Therming Jørgensen, Jeanette, Sørensen, Mette, Backalarz, Claus, Laursen, Jens Elgaard, Ketzel, Matthias, Hertel, Ole, Jensen, Steen Solvang, Simonsen, Mette Kildevæld, Bräuner, Elvira Vaclavik and Andersen, Zorana Jovanovic (2019) Road traffic noise and markers of adiposity in the Danish Nurse Cohort: A cross-sectional study Environmental Research, 172. pp. 502-510.

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Studies have suggested that traffic noise is associated with markers of obesity. We investigated the association of exposure to road traffic noise with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in the Danish Nurse Cohort.


We used data on 15,501 female nurses (aged >44 years) from the nationwide Danish Nurse Cohort who, in 1999, reported information on self-measured height, weight, and waist circumference, together with information on socioeconomic status, lifestyle, work and health. Road traffic noise at the most exposed façade of the residence was estimated using Nord2000 as the annual mean of a weighted 24-h average (Lden). We used multiple linear regression models to examine associations of road traffic noise levels in 1999 (1-year mean) with BMI and waist circumference, adjusting for potential confounders, and evaluated effect modification by degree of urbanization, air pollution levels, night shift work, job strain, sedative use, sleep aid use, and family history of obesity.


We did not observe associations between road traffic noise (per 10 dB increase in the 1-year mean Lden) and BMI (kg/m2) (β: 0.00; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.07, 0.07) or waist circumference (cm) (β: −0.09; 95% CI: −0.31, 0.31) in the fully adjusted model. We found significant effect modification of job strain and degree of urbanization on the associations between Lden and both BMI and waist circumference. Job strained nurses were associated with a 0.41 BMI-point increase, (95% CI: 0.06, 0.76) and a 1.00 cm increase in waist circumference (95% CI: 0.00, 2.00). Nurses living in urban areas had a statistically significant positive association of Lden with BMI (β: 0.26; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.42), whilst no association was found for nurses living in suburban and rural areas.


Our results suggest that road traffic noise exposure in nurses with particular susceptibilities, such as those with job strain, or living in urban areas, may lead to increased BMI, a marker of adiposity.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Authors :
Cramer, Johannah
Therming Jørgensen, Jeanette
Sørensen, Mette
Backalarz, Claus
Laursen, Jens Elgaard
Hertel, Ole
Jensen, Steen Solvang
Simonsen, Mette Kildevæld
Bräuner, Elvira Vaclavik
Andersen, Zorana Jovanovic
Date : May 2019
DOI : 10.1016/j.envres.2019.03.001
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Road traffic noise; Body mass index (BMI); Adiposity; Waist circumference; Degree of urbanization; Job strain
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 26 Apr 2019 07:25
Last Modified : 17 Oct 2019 15:07

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