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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2002;35(3): 205-213.
Cohort Study for the Effect of Chronic Noise Exposure on Blood Pressure among Male Workers.
Ji Ho Lee, Tae Joon Cha, Jang Rak Kim, Weechang Kang, Seung Rim Yaang, Choong Ryeol Lee, Cheol In Yoo
1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kosin University, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Korea.
4Department of Information and Statistics, Daejeon University, Korea.
5Korean Air Occupational Safety and Health Center, Korea.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: Whether exposure to chronic noise induces an increase in blood pressure, or the development of hypertension, has not been established. A cohort study was performed to identify the effects of chronic noise exposure on blood pressure. METHODS: 530 males working at a metal manufacturing factory in Busan, Korea were enrolled for the study. They were monitored for 9 consecutive years, from 1991 to 1999, with an annual health check-up. The subjects were divided into 4 groups, which were determines by noise level categories(NLC) according to noise intensity ; NLC-I: office workers, exposed to noise a level below 60dB(A); NLC-II: field technical supporters or supervisors, frequently exposed to workplace noise, wearing no hearing protection device; NLC-III: workers, exposed to workplace noise below 85 dB(A), wearing ear plugs or muffs; NLC-IV: workers, exposed to workplace noise over 85 dB(A), wearing both ear plugs and muffs. RESULTS: After controlling possible confoundens, such as baseline age, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, family history of hypertension, systolic(SBP) or diastolic blood pressure(DBP) and changes in BMI (body mass index), the pooled mean for the systolic blood pressures, over the duration of the study period, were 3.8mmHg, 2.0mmHg and 1.7mmHg higher in NLC-IV, NLC-III NLC-II groups, respectively, than in the NLC-I group. There were no significant differences in the diastolic blood pressures between the groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that chronic noise exposure increases systolic blood pressure independently, among male workers.
Key words: Noise; Blood pressure; Cohort studies; Workers
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