Tiesler, C. et al. Exposure to Road Traffic Noise and Children’s Behavioural Problems and Sleep

Elsevier Environmental Research 123 (2013) 1–8
Carla M.T. Tiesler, Matthias Birk, Elisabeth Thiering, Gabriele Kohlbock, Sibylle Koletzko, Carl-Peter Bauer, Dietrich Berdel, Andrea von Berg, Wolfgang Babish, Joachim Heinrich for the GINIplus and LISAplus Study Groups.


Background: Exposure to transportation noise showed negative health effects in children and adults. Studies in children mainly focussed on aircraft noise at school.


872 10-year-old children from Munich from two German population-based, birth-cohort studies with data on modelled façade noise levels at home and behavioural problems were included. Noise was assessed by the day-evening-night noise indicator Lden and the night noise indicator Lnight.

Behavioural problems were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionairre (SDQ). A subgroup (N=287) had information on sleeping problems. Continuation ratio models (logistic regression models) adjusted for various covariates were applied to investigate the association between interquartile range increases in noise and SDQ scales (sleeping problems).


Noise measured by Lden at the most exposed façade of the building was related to more hyperactivity/inattention (continuation odds ratio (cOR) = 1.28(95%-confidence interval (CI:1.03-1.58). Noise at the least exposed façade increased the relative odds to have abnormal values for a subject with at least borderline values (Lden:cOR=2.19(95% CI1:.32-3.64). Results for Lnight were similar. Nocturnal noise at the least exposed façade was associated with any sleeping problems (odds ratio (OR)=1.79(95% CI=1.10-2.92)).


Road traffic noise exposure at home may be related to increased hyperactivity and more emotional symptoms in children. Future longitudinal studies are required to explore noise exposure and behavioural problems in more detail, especially the role of sleep disturbances.

© Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Download entire research paper→