Current Epidemiology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 70–78 | Cite as

Noise and Hypertension—a Narrative Review

  • Barbara Hoffmann
Environmental Epidemiology (F Laden and J Hart, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Environmental Epidemiology


Purpose of review

High systolic blood pressure is the leading risk factor for morbidity and premature mortality worldwide (Lancet 388:1659–724, 2016). The aim of this article is to give an overview about the current knowledge on the association of ambient noise exposure with elevations in blood pressure and hypertension.

Recent findings

Most studies so far show a positive association of long-term noise exposure and prevalence or incidence of hypertension, including a recent comprehensive review and meta-analysis of 24 studies on road traffic noise exposure and prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio of 1.034 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.011–1.056] per 5 dB(A) increase of the 16 h average road traffic noise level (LAeq16hr) [range 45–75 dB(A)]). Open issues include improvements and harmonizations of noise exposure assessment via modeling, the derivation of outcome-specific noise indicators, the existence of threshold values, identification of vulnerable groups, assessing health effects of noise from multiple exposure sources, consideration of other concurrent environmental exposures potentially confounding or modifying the noise effect, and the effectiveness of abatement and mitigation measures.


Ambient noise exposure is a highly prevalent health hazard with adverse effects on blood pressure and hypertension.


Ambient noise Blood pressure Hypertension Multipollutant exposures Noise assessment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

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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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Epidemiology Group, Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Medical FacultyHeinrich-Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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