Journal of Community Health

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 974–982 | Cite as

Residential and GPS-Defined Activity Space Neighborhood Noise Complaints, Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure Among Low-Income Housing Residents in New York City

  • Kosuke TamuraEmail author
  • Brian Elbel
  • Basile Chaix
  • Seann D. Regan
  • Yazan A. Al-Ajlouni
  • Jessica K. Athens
  • Julie Meline
  • Dustin T. Duncan
Original Paper


Little is known about how neighborhood noise influences cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among low-income populations. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between neighborhood noise complaints and body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) among low-income housing residents in New York City (NYC), including the use of global positioning system (GPS) data. Data came from the NYC Low-Income Housing, Neighborhoods and Health Study in 2014, including objectively measured BMI and BP data (N = 102, Black = 69%), and 1 week of GPS data. Noise reports from “NYC 311” were used to create a noise complaints density (unit: 1000 reports/km2) around participants’ home and GPS-defined activity space neighborhoods. In fully-adjusted models, we examined associations of noise complaints density with BMI (kg/m2), and systolic and diastolic BP (mmHg), controlling for individual- and neighborhood-level socio-demographics. We found inverse relationships between home noise density and BMI (B = −2.7 [kg/m2], p = 0.009), and systolic BP (B = −5.3 mmHg, p = 0.008) in the fully-adjusted models, and diastolic BP (B = −3.9 mmHg, p = 0.013) in age-adjusted models. Using GPS-defined activity space neighborhoods, we observed inverse associations between noise density and systolic BP (B = −10.3 mmHg, p = 0.019) in fully-adjusted models and diastolic BP (B = −7.5 mmHg, p = 0.016) in age-adjusted model, but not with BMI. The inverse associations between neighborhood noise and CVD risk factors were unexpected. Further investigation is needed to determine if these results are affected by unobserved confounding (e.g., variations in walkability). Examining how noise could be related to CVD risk could inform effective neighborhood intervention programs for CVD risk reduction.


Neighborhood noise exposure Low-income housing residents Geographic information systems Global positioning systems Health disparities 



We thank the research assistants for this project: Maliyhah Al-Bayan; Shilpa Dutta; William Goedel; Brittany Gozlan; Kenneth Pass; James Williams; and Abebayehu Yilma. We thank Jeff Blossom for geocoding the participants’ addresses. We also thank the participants for engaging in this research.


The NYC Low-Income Housing, Neighborhoods and Health Study was supported by the NYU-HHC Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Project Awards Program (Dr. Dustin Duncan, Principal Investigator). The NYU-HHC CTSI is supported in part by grant UL1TR000038 (Dr. Bruce Cronstein, Principal Investigator and Dr. Judith Hochman, co-Principal Investigator) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. During the manuscript development, Dr. Tamura has been supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (Grant R01DK097347 to Dr. Brian Elbel).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Wagner Graduate School of Public ServiceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public HealthParisFrance
  4. 4.Inserm, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public HealthParisFrance

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