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Traffic noise and adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies

Abstract

Traffic noise has attracted much attention as a significant and intractable public health threat. This study was designed as a systematical review to explore the association of traffic noise with different indicators of obesity, thus providing updated quantitative estimates for the pooled effect estimates of the existing literature. We conducted an extensive search for epidemiological studies that investigated the association of traffic noise with obesity in three electronic databases till February 23, 2021. We used random-effects meta-analysis to calculate the summary effect estimates for each 10-dB(A) increase in noise and compared the highest with the lowest category of noise in relation to seven obesity indicators. Meanwhile, we assessed the risk of bias and the overall quality of the evidence of each study as well as the level of evidence for each exposure–outcome pair. The initial search identified 30 studies, 13 of which were ultimately included. The meta-analysis for the highest versus the lowest category of noise exposure was generally associated with higher waist circumfluence (WC) ranging from 0.326 cm (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.078, 0.574) to 0.705 cm (95% CI = 0.071, 1.340) and higher odds of central obesity ranging from 1.055 (95% CI = 1.000, 1.109) to 1.167 (95% CI = 1.037, 1.298). When the continuous exposure (each 10 dB(A) increase in noise) was introduced, similar results were found. This study indicated positive associations of traffic noise with WC and central obesity. However, in consideration of some limitations, there is an urgent need for future studies to increase the sample size, discriminate the etiological differences in different noise and obesity indicators, and thoroughly consider socioeconomic status.

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Data availability

The dataset generated and/or analyzed in the current study can be obtained from the corresponding author on a reasonable request.

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Funding

This study was supported by grant from the Key Projects of Natural Science Research of Anhui Provincial Department of Education (KJ2020A0163).

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CYH and YL conceived of and coordinated the study. SYG, KJW, YNC, HRL, WL, and HS searched the literature, extracted and analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript. SYG, KJW, YNC, HRL, WL, HS, YL, and CYH interpreted the results and drafted and revised the manuscript. The authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yao Lu or Cheng-Yang Hu.

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Gui, SY., Wu, KJ., Sun, Y. et al. Traffic noise and adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-19056-7

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Keywords

  • Traffic noise
  • Adiposity
  • Waist circumference
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis