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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 31  |  Page : 63--79

Noise-induced annoyance and morbidity results from the pan-European LARES study


1 Technische Universität Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Network Noise and Health, Germany
2 WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn, World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe, Germany

Correspondence Address:
H Niemann
TU Berlin, ZiG, Interdisciplinary Research Network Noise and Health, Müller-Breslau-Straße (VWS-4); 10623 Berlin
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.33537

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Traffic noise (road noise, railway noise, aircraft noise, noise of parking cars), is the most dominant source of annoyance in the living environment of many European countries. This is followed by neighbourhood noise (neighbouring apartments, staircase and noise within the apartment). The subjective experience of noise stress can, through central nervous processes, lead to an inadequate neuro-endocrine reaction and finally lead to regulatory diseases. Within the context of the LARES-survey (Large Analysis and Review of European housing and health Status), noise annoyance in the housing environment was collected and evaluated in connection with medically diagnosed illnesses. Adults who indicated chronically severe annoyance by neighbourhood noise were found to have an increased health risk for the cardiovascular system and the movement apparatus, as well as an increased risk of depression and migraine. Furthermore adults with chronically strong annoyance by traffic noise additionally showed an increased risk for respiratory health problems. With regards to older people both neighbourhood and traffic noise indicated in general a lower risk of noise annoyance induced illness than in adults. It can be assumed that the effect of noise-induced annoyance in older people is concealed by physical consequences of age (with a strong increase of illnesses). With children the effects of noise-induced annoyance from traffic, as well as neighbourhood noise, are evident in the respiratory system. The increased risk of illness in the respiratory system in children does not seem to be caused primarily by air pollutants, but rather, as the results for neighbourhood noise demonstrate, by emotional stress.






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