Exposure to environmental noise has been suggested to increase the prevalence of hypertension. The present study investigated whether or not chronic exposure to military aircraft noise is related to an increased prevalence of hypertension. The study population consisted of 137 subjects (mean age 60±14 years) who lived within 5 km of a helicopter airbase and 486 subjects (58±16 years) living within 5 km of a fighter-jet airbase. A control group consisted of 252 subjects (58±16 years) not exposed to aircraft noise. Overall, the subjects exposed to military aircraft noise had a higher prevalence of hypertension than those in the control group (p=0.037). However, whereas those exposed to helicopter noise had a higher prevalence than the control group (p=0.020), those exposed to fighter-jet noise did not (p=0.094). The prevalence of known hypertension in the helicopter group was higher than in the control group (p=0.024). The prevalence odds ratio for hypertension adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, current smoking, alcohol intake, diabetes, and regular exercise was 1.62 (95% confidence interval [95% Cl], 1.02-2.59) for the subjects exposed to helicopter noise, and 1.23 (95% Cl, 0.87-1.74) for those exposed to fighter-jet noise. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that chronic exposure to military aircraft noise may be associated with hypertension. The difference in the effects between helicopter and fighter-jet noise implies that different kinds of noise will have different influences on the prevalence of hypertension.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine