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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 17  |  Page : 35--45

Stress Hormone Changes in Persons exposed to Simulated Night Noise


1 Robert Koch-Institute, Federal Institute for Infectious and Noninfectious Diseases, Section: Environmental related disorders, Berlin, Germany
2 Federal Environmental Agency, Institute for Water, Soil and Air Hygiene, Berlin, Germany
3 Institute of Psycho-Social Health Berlin, Germany
4 Robert Koch-Institute, Federal Institute for Infectious and Noninfectious Diseases, Section: Epidemiology and health-reporting, Berlin, Germany

Correspondence Address:
C Maschke
Müller-BBM GmbH, Robert-Koch-Str. 11, 82152, Planegg bei München
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 12537833

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The results of earlier studies attribute acute stress reactions to nocturnal aircraft noise, but do not contain detailed information on the adaptive and habituation processes during the exposure. This question was followed up with an experimental longitudinal study at Hamburg's Fiihlsbiittel airport. The test persons were exposed to nocturnal electroacoustically simulated aircraft noise in their apartments. Recorded among other things was the personal health condition, cortisol excretion collected through the night and daily collected subjective data. After the initial cortisol reaction (increasing in the first days) the course of cortisol excretion is not uniform. The results suggest that adaptation to nocturnal aircraft noise is specific to the sex. Beside these sexually specific differences there are considerable individual differences both for women and men. We found three fundamental adaptation types in agreement with results of animal experiments. From a preventive medical point of view two of the adaptation types, i.e. increasing cortisol excretion and decreasing cortisol excretion, are accompanied with health hazards. The increasing cortisol excretion exceeds the normal medical range in the process of adaptation. The decreasing cortisol level can be identified as "protective inhibition". The majority of the men can be classified in the first mentioned adaptation type. From this knowledge it can be concluded that noise-induced health risk for men is to be estimated as essentially higher than for women.






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