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Exposure-effect relationships between aircraft noise and road traffic noise exposure at school and reading comprehension: the RANCH Study

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Title: Exposure-effect relationships between aircraft noise and road traffic noise exposure at school and reading comprehension: the RANCH Study
Author: Clark, Charlotte; Martin, Rocio; van Kempen, Elise; Alfred, Tamuno; Davies, Hugh W.; Head, Jenny; Haines, Mary M.; Barrio Lopez, Isabel; Matheson, Mark; Stansfeld, Stephen A.
Subject Keywords Exposure assessment
Issue Date: 2005-06-21
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2008-05-30
Publisher Oxford University Press
Citation: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Clark et. al. 2006. Exposure-effect relations between aircraft and road traffic noise exposure at school and reading comprehension. American Journal of Epidemiology 163(1): 27-37.] is available online at: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/163/1/27
Abstract: Transport noise is an increasingly prominent feature of the urban environment, making noise pollution an important environmental public health issue. This paper reports on the 2001–2003 RANCH project, the first cross-national epidemiologic study known to examine exposure-effect relations between aircraft and road traffic noise exposure and reading comprehension. Participants were 2,010 children aged 9–10 years from 89 schools around Amsterdam Schiphol, Madrid Barajas, and London Heathrow airports. Data from the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom were pooled and analyzed using multilevel modeling. Aircraft noise exposure at school was linearly associated with impaired reading comprehension; the association was maintained after adjustment for socioeconomic variables (ß = –0.008, p = 0.012), aircraft noise annoyance, and other cognitive abilities (episodic memory, working memory, and sustained attention). Aircraft noise exposure at home was highly correlated with aircraft noise exposure at school and demonstrated a similar linear association with impaired reading comprehension. Road traffic noise exposure at school was not associated with reading comprehension in either the absence or the presence of aircraft noise (ß = 0.003, p = 0.509; ß = 0.002, p = 0.540, respectively). Findings were consistent across the three countries, which varied with respect to a range of socioeconomic and environmental variables, thus offering robust evidence of a direct exposure-effect relation between aircraft noise and reading comprehension.
Affiliation: Environmental Health (SOEH), School ofHealth and Environment Research (CHER), Centre forOccupational and Environmental Hygiene, School ofMedicine, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/853
Peer Review Status: Reviewed
Scholarly Level: Faculty

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