Residential and GPS-Defined Activity Space Neighborhood Noise Complaints, Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure Among Low-Income Housing Residents in New York City

Kosuke Tamura, Brian Elbel, Basile Chaix, Seann D. Regan, Yazan A. Al-Ajlouni, Jessica K. Athens, Julie Meline, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Little is known about how neighborhood noise influences cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among low-income populations. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between neighborhood noise complaints and body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) among low-income housing residents in New York City (NYC), including the use of global positioning system (GPS) data. Data came from the NYC Low-Income Housing, Neighborhoods and Health Study in 2014, including objectively measured BMI and BP data (N = 102, Black = 69%), and 1 week of GPS data. Noise reports from “NYC 311” were used to create a noise complaints density (unit: 1000 reports/km2) around participants’ home and GPS-defined activity space neighborhoods. In fully-adjusted models, we examined associations of noise complaints density with BMI (kg/m2), and systolic and diastolic BP (mmHg), controlling for individual- and neighborhood-level socio-demographics. We found inverse relationships between home noise density and BMI (B = −2.7 [kg/m2], p = 0.009), and systolic BP (B = −5.3 mmHg, p = 0.008) in the fully-adjusted models, and diastolic BP (B = −3.9 mmHg, p = 0.013) in age-adjusted models. Using GPS-defined activity space neighborhoods, we observed inverse associations between noise density and systolic BP (B = −10.3 mmHg, p = 0.019) in fully-adjusted models and diastolic BP (B = −7.5 mmHg, p = 0.016) in age-adjusted model, but not with BMI. The inverse associations between neighborhood noise and CVD risk factors were unexpected. Further investigation is needed to determine if these results are affected by unobserved confounding (e.g., variations in walkability). Examining how noise could be related to CVD risk could inform effective neighborhood intervention programs for CVD risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-982
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017



  • Geographic information systems
  • Global positioning systems
  • Health disparities
  • Low-income housing residents
  • Neighborhood noise exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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