NORAH - Noise related annoyance, cognition and health study


The study on Noise-related Annoyance, Cognition and Health (NORAH) was conducted to better describe and understand the effects of aircraft -, rail and traffic noise on the health and quality of life of population living in the Rhine-Main-area in Germany. NORAH was a cooperative project involving researchers from the field of medicine, psychology, social sciences, acoustics and physics aiming for a more holistic understanding of traffic noise and health relationships.
The BIPS was particularly involved in the secondary-data based subproject among about 1 Mill. Inhabitants of the Rhine-Main Region aged 40+years and insured by one of the participating health insurances. Several case-control analyses on diverse cardiovasular (and other) outcomes and their assocation with traffic noise were conducted. Unfortunately, there was a low participation rate in the accompanying in-depth questionnaire study to investigate potential confounders not covered by the insurance data. Overall, we found a positive association between myocardial infarction and rail and road traffic noise, for those participants who died during the study period also for aircraft noise. Depending on outcome, subgroup and noise source, up to 3.9 % risk increase per 10 dB noise increase were estimated. For cardiac insufficiency, there were associations with all types of traffic noise. Further analyses e.g. on depression and hypertension have been published or are under review.
Overall the results confirm the importance of traffic noise as a risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases, although some of the associations were at the lower end of what was seen in other studies. New insights such as those on depression need extension and confirmation from other studies.

Funding period

Begin:   April 2011
End:   November 2015


  • Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden


Prof. Dr. med. Hajo Zeeb


  • Prof.Dr. Andreas Seidler (Universit├Ąt Dresden)


Webpage of the NORAH study