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Transportation Noise and Risk of Tinnitus: A Nationwide Cohort Study from Denmark

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  • Manuella Lech Cantuaria, Syddansk Universitet, Kræftens Bekæmpelse
  • ,
  • Ellen Raben Pedersen, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Aslak Harbo Poulsen, Kræftens Bekæmpelse
  • ,
  • Ole Raaschou-Nielsen
  • Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt, Kræftens Bekæmpelse
  • ,
  • Gregor Levin
  • Steen Solvang Jensen
  • Jesper Hvass Schmidt, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Mette Sørensen, Kræftens Bekæmpelse, Department of Natural Science and Environment

BACKGROUND: There is a growing body of evidence linking residential exposure to transportation noise with several nonauditory health outcomes. However, auditory outcomes, such as tinnitus, are virtually unexplored. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the association between residential transportation noise and risk of incident tinnitus. METHODS: We conducted a nationwide cohort study including all residents in Denmark age formula presented , of whom 40,692 were diagnosed with tinnitus. We modeled road traffic and railway noise at the most (formula presented ) and least (formula presented ) exposed façades of all Danish addresses from 1990 until 2017. For all participants, we calculated 1-, 5-, and 10-y time-weighted mean noise exposure and retrieved detailed information on individual- and area-level socioeconomic covariates. We conducted analyses using Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: We found positive associations between exposure to road traffic noise and risk of tinnitus, with hazard ratios of 1.06 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04, 1.08] and 1.02 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.03) per 10-dB increase in 10-y formula presented , respectively. Highest risk estimates were found for women, people without a hearing loss, people with high education and income, and people who had never been in a blue-collar job. The association with road formula presented followed a positive, monotonic exposure-response relationship. We found no association between railway noise and tinnitus. DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that residential exposure to road traffic noise may increase risk of tinnitus, suggesting noise may negatively affect the auditory system. If confirmed, this finding adds to the growing evidence of road traffic noise as a harmful pollutant with a substantial health burden. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP11248.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Sider (fra-til)27001
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 2023

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