Chronic Noise Exposure and Adiposity: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ruopeng An, Junjie Wang, Sadia Anjum Ashrafi, Yan Yang, Chenghua Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Context: Noise is a key environmental stressor affecting millions of people worldwide on a daily basis. Chronic exposure to noise may elevate the risk of adiposity through sleep deprivation and heightened stress level. Evidence acquisition: A literature search was conducted in the PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library for articles published until February 20, 2018, that assessed the relationship between noise and adiposity. A standardized data extraction form was used to collect methodologic and outcome variables from each included study. Evidence synthesis: Eleven studies were identified, among which seven reported a positive association between chronic exposure to noise and adiposity. Compared with their counterparts exposed to a lower noise level, adults chronically exposed to a noise level above 55–60 dBA were associated with a higher waist circumference by 7.5 mm per year (95% CI=3.6, 11.4, I2=0.0%). An increase in chronic exposure to noise by 10 dBA was found to be associated with a higher waist circumference by 7.0 mm per year (95% CI=2.5, 11.6, I2=93.9%) in the random effect model but not the inverse variance heterogeneity model. Chronic noise exposure was not found to be associated with BMI. Conclusions: Noise tends to be positively associated with waist circumference but not BMI in adults, but current evidence remains limited. Future studies should assess the impact of noise on adiposity in alternative settings and across population subgroups and geographic areas, examine different sources of noise, and elucidate the biomedical and psychosocial pathways linking noise to adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-411
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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