Ambient and at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum lipid levels.

International archives of occupational and environmental health

PubMedID: 27319006

Arlien-Søborg MC, Schmedes AS, Stokholm ZA, Grynderup MB, Bonde JP, Jensen CS, Hansen ÅM, Frederiksen TW, Kristiansen J, Christensen KL, Vestergaard JM, Lund SP, Kolstad HA. Ambient and at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum lipid levels. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2016;.
Occupational and residential noise exposure has been related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Alteration of serum lipid levels has been proposed as a possible causal pathway. The objective of this study was to investigate the relation between ambient and at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and triglycerides when accounting for well-established predictors of lipid levels.

This cross-sectional study included 424 industrial workers and 84 financial workers to obtain contrast in noise exposure levels. They provided a serum sample and wore portable dosimeters that every 5-s recorded ambient noise exposure levels during a 24-h period. We extracted measurements obtained during work and calculated the full-shift mean ambient noise level. For 331 workers who kept a diary on the use of a hearing protection device (HPD), we subtracted 10 dB from every noise recording obtained during HPD use and estimated the mean full-shift noise exposure level at the ear.

Mean ambient noise level was 79.9 dB (A) [range 55.0-98.9] and the mean estimated level at the ear 77.8 dB (A) [range 55.0-94.2]. Ambient and at-the-ear noise levels were strongly associated with increasing levels of triglycerides, cholesterol-HDL ratio, and decreasing levels of HDL-cholesterol, but only in unadjusted analyses that did not account for HPD use and other risk factors.

No associations between ambient or at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum lipid levels were observed. This indicates that a causal pathway between occupational and residential noise exposure and cardiovascular disease does not include alteration of lipid levels.