Does exposure to noise pollution influence the incidence and severity of COVID-19?

Julio Díaz*, José Antonio-López-Bueno, Dante Culqui, César Asensio, Gerardo Sánchez-Martínez, Cristina Linares

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research that analyzes the effect of different environmental factors on the impact of COVID-19 focus primarily on meteorological variables such as humidity and temperature or on air pollution variables. However, noise pollution is also a relevant environmental factor that contributes to the worsening of chronic cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes. This study analyzes the role of short-term noise pollution levels on the incidence and severity of cases of COVID-19 in Madrid from February 1 to May 31, 2020. The following variables were used in the study: daily noise levels averaged over 14 days; daily incidence rates, average cumulative incidence over 14 days; hospital admissions, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions and mortality due to COVID-19. We controlled for the effect of the pollutants PM10 and NO2 as well as for variables related to seasonality and autoregressive nature. GLM models with Poisson regressions were carried out using significant variable selection (p < 0.05) to calculate attributable RR. The results of the modeling using a single variable show that the levels of noise (leq24 h) were related to the incidence rate, the rate of hospital admissions, the ICU admissions and the rate of average cumulative incidence over 14 days. These associations presented lags, and the first association was with incidence (lag 7 and lag 10), then with hospital admissions (lag 17) and finally ICU admissions (lag 22). There was no association with deaths due to COVID-19. In the results of the models that included PM10, NO2, Leq24 h and the control variables simultaneously, we observed that only Leq24 h went on to become a part of the models using COVID-19 variables, including the 14-day average cumulative incidence. These results show that noise pollution is an important environmental variable that is relevant in relation to the incidence and severity of COVID-19 in the Province of Madrid.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110766
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume195
Number of pages7
ISSN0013-9351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Traffic noise
  • Air pollution

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