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Health effects from low-frequency noise and infrasound in the general population: is it time to listen? A systematic review of observational studies.

Baliatsas, C., Kamp, I. van, Poll, R. van, Yzermans, J. Health effects from low-frequency noise and infrasound in the general population: is it time to listen? A systematic review of observational studies. Science of the Total Environment: 2016, 557, 163-169
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A systematic review of observational studies was conducted to assess the association between everyday life low-frequency noise (LFN) components, including infrasound and health effects in the general population. Literature databases Pubmed, Embase and PsycInfo and additional bibliographic sources such as reference sections of key publications and journal databases were searched for peer-reviewed studies published from 2000 to 2015. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Most of them examined subjective annoyance as primary outcome. The adequacy of provided information in the included papers and methodological quality of studies was also addressed. Moreover, studies were screened for meta-analysis eligibility. Some associations were observed between exposure to LFN and annoyance, sleep-related problems, concentration difficulties and headache in the adult population living in the vicinity of a range of LFN sources. However, evidence, especially in relation to chronic medical conditions, was very limited. The estimated pooled prevalence of high subjective annoyance attributed to LFN was about 10%. Epidemiological research on LFN and health effects is scarce and suffers from methodological shortcomings. Low frequency noise in the everyday environment constitutes an issue that requires more research attention, particularly for people living in the vicinity of relevant sources. (aut. ref.)