Current Epidemiology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 140–152 | Cite as

Aviation Noise and Cardiovascular Health in the United States: a Review of the Evidence and Recommendations for Research Direction

  • Junenette L. Peters
  • Christopher D. Zevitas
  • Susan Redline
  • Aaron Hastings
  • Natalia Sizov
  • Jaime E. Hart
  • Jonathan I. Levy
  • Christopher J. Roof
  • Gregory A. Wellenius
Environmental Epidemiology (F Laden and J Hart, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Environmental Epidemiology


Purpose of the Review

In the USA, there is mounting pressure on aviation operators and regulators to address concerns about community impacts of aircraft noise given increasing evidence of adverse health impacts, continuing community complaints, availability of cost-effective programs to reduce exposures to aircraft noise, and more stringent international policies. In the USA, regulation of civil aviation noise is the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which requires a “significant body of scientific support,” particularly applicable to the USA, to inform health-based policy and regulatory decisions. However, there have been very few studies investigating the relationship between noise and health in the USA and limited studies across the globe characterizing the effects of aviation noise specifically on cardiovascular health. This review focuses on recent findings on the relationship between aircraft noise and cardiovascular outcomes and directions for future research.

Recent Findings

Epidemiological studies generally report statistically significant associations between aircraft noise and adverse cardiovascular outcomes, although with limited evidence within the USA. Sleep disturbance, associated with nighttime noise, has been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease given associations with inflammatory markers and metabolic changes. Given numerous cardiovascular markers, the most appropriate choices depend on the ultimate objectives of the individual studies.


Given the state of the literature, future research should leverage emerging tools to estimate aviation, railway, and road traffic noise and apply noise estimates to a range of epidemiological study designs and endpoints to inform causal interpretation and help determine potential intervention strategies.


Cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular health Aircraft noise Aviation noise Transportation noise 


Funding Information

This report was supported by grant 13-C-AJFE-BU and Interagency Agreement DTFAVP-15-X-00090 from the Federal Aviation Administration and grants R01-ES025791 and R01-ES020871 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Junenette L. Peters and Gregory A. Wellenius reports grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and grants from the Nation Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, during the conduct of the study.

Aaron Hastings, Christopher J. Roof, and Christopher D. Zevitas reports funding from the US Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Transportation/Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, during the conduct of the study.

Susan Redline and Natalia Sizov declare no conflicts of interest.

Dr. Jaime E. Hart reports grants from Federal Aviation Administration, during the conduct of the study; Jonathan I. Levy reports grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and grants from the National Institutes of Health, during the conduct of the study.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junenette L. Peters
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Zevitas
    • 2
  • Susan Redline
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Aaron Hastings
    • 2
  • Natalia Sizov
    • 6
  • Jaime E. Hart
    • 7
    • 8
  • Jonathan I. Levy
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Roof
    • 2
  • Gregory A. Wellenius
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Environmental HealthBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Volpe National Transportation System CenterUS Department of TransportationCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and NeurologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  6. 6.Office of Environment and Energy, Federal Aviation AdministrationUS Department of TransportationWashingtonUSA
  7. 7.Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  8. 8.Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk Program, Department of Environmental HealthHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  9. 9.Department of EpidemiologyBrown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA

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