Noise exposure and the risk of cancer: a comprehensive systematic review

Rev Environ Health. 2022 Sep 6. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2022-0021. Online ahead of print.


The association between noise exposure and increased risk of cancer has received little attention in the field of research. Therefore, the goal of this study was to conduct a systematic review on the relationship between noise exposure and the incidence of cancer in humans. In this study, four electronic bibliographic databases including Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase were systematically searched up to 21 April 2022. All types of noise exposure were considered, including environmental noise, occupational noise, and leisure or recreational noise. Furthermore, all types of cancers were studied, regardless of the organs involved. In total, 1836 articles were excluded on the basis of containing exclusion criteria or lacking inclusion criteria, leaving 19 articles retained for this study. Five of nine case-control studies showed a significant relationship between occupational or leisure noise exposure and acoustic neuroma. Moreover, four of five case-control and cohort studies indicated statistically significant relationships between environmental noise exposure and breast cancer. Of other cancer types, two case-control studies highlighted the risk of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and two cohort studies identified an increased risk of colon cancer associated with environmental noise exposure. No relationship between road traffic and railway noise and the risk of prostate cancer was observed. In total, results showed that noise exposure, particularly prolonged and continuous exposure to loud noise, can lead to the incidence of some cancers. However, confirmation of this requires further epidemiological studies and exploration of the exact biological mechanism and pathway for these effects.

PMID:36064622 | DOI:10.1515/reveh-2022-0021

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