FRIDAY, Sept. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Road traffic and railway noise are associated with increased risk of dementia, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in The BMJ.

Manuella Lech Cantuaria, Ph.D., from the Mærsk McKinney Møller Institute at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues conducted a nationwide prospective register based cohort study involving 1,938,994 adults aged ≥60 years living in Denmark between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2017, to examine the association between residential exposure to road traffic and railway noise and risk of incident dementia.

The study population included 103,500 participants with incident dementia, of whom 31,219 had Alzheimer dementia, 8,664 had vascular dementia, and 2,192 had Parkinson disease-related dementia. The researchers found that the risk of all-cause dementia was increased for 10-year mean exposure to road traffic and railway noises at the most (Ldenmax) and least (Ldenmin) exposed facades of buildings. There was a general pattern of higher hazard ratios with higher noise exposure, with a levelling off or slight decline at higher noise levels. Both road traffic and railway noise were associated with increased risk of Alzheimer disease in subtype analyses, while road traffic, but not railway, noise was associated with increased risk of vascular dementia.

“Expanding our knowledge on the harmful effects of noise on health is essential for setting priorities and implementing effective policies and public health strategies focused on the prevention and control of diseases, including dementia,” the authors write.

One author received a grant from Hearing Aid Industry.

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