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Long-term exposure to wind turbine noise at night and risk for diabetes: A nationwide cohort study  

Author:  | Denmark, Health, Noise

Highlights

  • We investigated a cohort of 365,986 Danes living close to wind turbines (WT).
  • We identified 25,148 cases of diabetes during the period 1996–2002.
  • Long-term exposure to WT noise was not associated with increased risk of diabetes.
  • Similar results were seen for indoor night-time noise and across a range of strata.
  • Results do not support an association between wind turbine noise and diabetes.

Abstract

Noise from wind turbines (WTs) is reported as more annoying than traffic noise at similar levels, raising concerns as to whether WT noise (WTN) may negatively affect health, as reported for traffic noise. We aimed to investigate whether residential WTN is associated with adverse birth outcomes. Based on national registries, we identified all Danish dwellings situated within ≤ 20 wt heights radius and a random selection of 25% of dwellings situated within 20–40 wt heights radius of a WT. We identified 135,795 pregnant women living in the dwellings from 1982 to 2013, and collected information on gestational age and birth weight from a national birth registry. Using data on WT type and simulated hourly wind at each WT, we estimated hourly outdoor and low frequency (LF) indoor WTN at the dwellings of the pregnant women and aggregated as mean nighttime WTN during pregnancy. We used logistic regression with adjustment for individual and area-level covariates for the analyses. We did not find evidence suggesting that mean pregnancy or trimester-specific exposure to outdoor or indoor LF WTN were associated with any of the three adverse birth outcomes investigated: preterm birth (n = 13,003), term small for gestational age (n = 12,220) or term low birth weight (n = 1127). However, the number of cases in the highest exposure categories of ≥ 42 dB outdoor WTN or ≥ 15 dB indoor LF WTN were low for all outcomes (n between 0 and 31). The present study does not support an association between nighttime WTN and adverse birth outcomes. However, there were few cases in the high exposure groups and the results call for reproduction.

Aslak Harbo Poulsen, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Alfredo Peña, Andrea N.Hahmann, Rikke Baastrup Nordsborg, Matthias Ketzel, Jørgen Brandt, Mette Sørensen

  • Diet, Genes and Environment, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen
  • DTU Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde
  • Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Department of Natural Science and Environment, Roskilde University, Denmark

Environmental Research, Volume 165, August 2018, Pages 40-45
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.03.040

Download original document: “Long-term exposure to wind turbine noise at night and risk for diabetes: A nationwide cohort study

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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