Work Packages

The project consists of four work packages (WP), which ensures that all aims are thoroughly investigated:

WP1: Exposure assessment

WP2: Health effects of noise among adults

WP3: Health effects of noise during pregnancy

WP4: Estimation of burden of disease from environmental noise

Work Package 1: Exposure assessment

The objective of WP1 is to ensure a uniform exposure assessment of noise across all participating cohorts and populations. This work package has two work package leaders: Mikael Ogren, acoustician and researcher, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (transportation noise), and Jenny Selander, assistant professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (occupational noise).

A valid exposure assessment is a crucial part of every epidemiological study, and the aims for this WP therefore are to:

  • assess occupational and residential exposure to noise in the WP2 cohorts.
  • assess occupational and residential noise during pregnancy in the mother-child registry based populations of WP3.
  • harmonize the exposure assessments within and between countries so that pooled and meta-analyses can be made.

Work Package 2: Health effects of noise among adults

The objective of WP2 is to investigate health effects of transportation and occupational noise among adults, using unique Nordic cohorts, supplemented with register data. Work package leader is Professor Goran Pershagen, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The hypotheses we aim to investigate are that exposure to various sources of noise from traffic and work increase the risk of:

  • Myocardial infarction and stroke
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Breast and colon cancer incidence and mortality

For all three sub-aims, interactions between traffic noise exposure from different sources, as well as with occupational noise exposure and air pollution, will be investigated in relation to disease development.

Furthermore, the role of gender and socioeconomic conditions for exposure to noise from different sources and for modification of noise-induced health effects, will be assessed. A close collaboration will be established between the researchers responsible for the included cohorts, to enable uniform assessment of noise exposure and relevant covariates, and to facilitate combined analyses of these cohorts.

Work Package 3: Health effects of noise during pregnancy

The objective of WP3 is to evaluate the effect of transportation and occupational noise on risk of pregnancy complications and birth outcomes, with special focus on SEP. The work package leader is Professor Timo Lanki, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.

The hypothesis we aim to investigate is, that high noise levels during pregnancy adversely affects the health of both the mother and the fetus - more specifically that exposure to various sources of noise from residential traffic and occupational noise increase the risk of:

  • gestational diabetes and other pregnancy complications
  • low birth weight and preterm birth
  • perinatal mortality and congenital malformations

We will, furthermore, focus on evaluating effect modification by gender and SEP, both at individual and neighborhood level, as well as by air pollution. These objectives can only be met by linking together health and population data from diverse Nordic registers. Nordic cooperation is crucial because investigation of rare outcomes such as some congenital malformations requires huge datasets.

Work Package 4: Estimation of burden of disease from environmental noise

The objective is to estimate the burden of disease from transportation noise in the Nordic countries, also focusing on social inequality in transportation noise exposure and disease burden due to noise. This work package is led by Gunn Marit Aasvang, senior scientist, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway.