Transportation noise exposure and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Yuliang Lan, Hannah Roberts, Mei Po Kwan, Marco Helbich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Exposure to transportation noise is hypothesized to contribute to anxiety, but consistent associations have not been established. Objective: To provide a comprehensive synthesis of the literature by examining associations between traffic-related noise (i.e., road traffic noise, railway noise, aircraft noise and mixed traffic noise) and anxiety. Methods: We systematically searched Web of Science, Scopus, Embase, PubMed, and PsycINFO for English-language observational studies published up to February 2020 reporting on the traffic noise-anxiety association. We appraised the risk of bias using an assessment tool and the quality of evidence following established guidelines. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed for pooled and separated traffic-related noise sources. Results: Of the 3575 studies identified, 11 fulfilled the inclusion criteria and 9 studies were appropriate for meta-analysis. For the pooled overall effect size between transport noise and anxiety, we found 9% higher odds of anxiety associated with a 10 dB(A) increase in day-evening-night noise level (Lden), with moderate heterogeneity (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: [0.97; 1.23], I2 = 70%). The association was more likely to be significant with more severe anxiety (OR = 1.08, 95% CI: [1.01; 1.15], I2 = 48%). Sub-group analysis revealed that the effects of different noise sources on anxiety were inconsistent and insignificant. The quality of evidence was rated as very low to low. Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis of an association between traffic noise and more severe anxiety. More high-quality studies are needed to confirm associations between different noise types and anxiety, as well as to better understand underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110118
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume191
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Exposure
  • Mental health
  • Transportation noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Transportation noise exposure and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this