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Environmental Noise and Health Effects in Bremen City, Germany

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Numerous epidemiologic studies have investigated the health impact of road traffic noise, and there are several that have provided similar results due to aircraft noise. Health effects could be demonstrated mostly for arterial hypertension and for cardio-vascular diseases, in addition to depression and psychoses. Several studies, which incorporated both road traffic noise and aircraft noise have shown a greater impact of aircraft noise on health.


Major aims of the study are to analyze the impact of all major types of environmental noise, i.e. road traffic noise, aircraft noise, and railway noise, on human health, especially on cardiovascular diseases and on psychiatric disorders, especially on depression and on psychoses. This impact should be investigated separately for each type of environmental noise as well as for combination of environmental noise types.


Case-control studies on mortality and on cancer incidence. Confounder: age, specific social status indicators.

For the input data, the following data bases were used: Bremen based residency registry, Bremen Death Index, Bremen Cancer Registry, linked to residency-specific environmental noise levels for the day (6 a.m.-10 p.m.) and for the night (10 p.m.-6 a.m.).

Bremen is the only city in Germany where these data bases are available.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; BMUB
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)


This report comprises results of a case-control study on total mortality and of a case-control study on cancer incidence. The Bremen City population is exposed to road and railroad noise as well as to aircraft noise. Total mortality due to road traffic noise is increasing with longer duration of residence at the same address. Total mortality risk due to railroad traffic is significantly increased in persons living for less than 10 years and more than 14 years at the same residence.

Combined exposure to road traffic noise and to railroad noise does not lead to a significant increase of total mortality. When analyzing the impact of environmental noise on cancer incidence, a strong effect can be observed due to combined exposure to road and railroad noise for all cancers analyzed in this study.

Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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