Associations between road traffic noise and hypertension have been repeatedly documented, whereas associations with rail or total road, rail, and air (RRA) traffic noise have rarely been investigated. Moreover, most studies of noise in the environment have only taken into account the residential neighborhood. Finally, few studies have taken into account individual/neighborhood confounders in the relationship between noise and hypertension. We performed adjusted multilevel regression analyses using data from the 7,290 participants of the RECORD Study to investigate the associations of outdoor road, rail, air, and RRA traffic noise estimated at the place of residence, at the workplace, and in the neighborhoods around the residence and workplace with systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and hypertension. Associations were documented between higher outdoor RRA and road traffic noise estimated at the workplace and a higher SBP [+1.36 mm of mercury, 95% confidence interval (CI): +0.12, +2.60 for 65-80 dB(A) vs 30-45 dB(A)] and DBP [+1.07 (95% CI: +0.28, +1.86)], after adjustment for individual/neighborhood confounders. These associations remained after adjustment for risk factors of hypertension. Associations were documented neither with rail traffic noise nor for hypertension. Associations between transportation noise at the workplace and blood pressure (BP) may be attributable to the higher levels of road traffic noise at the workplace than at the residence. To better understand why only noise estimated at the workplace was associated with BP, our future work will combine Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, assessment of noise levels with sensors, and ambulatory monitoring of BP.
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