Impact of Noise Exposure on Risk of Developing Stress-Related Obstetric Health Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
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BACKGROUND: Exposure to noise can increase biological stress reactions and that could increase the risk of stress-related prenatal effects, including adverse obstetric outcomes; however, the association between exposure to noise and adverse obstetric outcomes has not been extensively explored. The objective of this review was to evaluate the evidence between noise exposures and adverse obstetric outcomes, specifically preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review of English language, comparative studies available in PubMed, Cochrane Central, EMBASE, and CINAHL databases between January 1, 1980 and December 29, 2021 was performed. Risk of bias for individual studies was assessed using the Risk of Bias Instrument for Nonrandomized Studies of Exposures, and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the certainty of the body of evidence for each outcome. RESULTS: Six studies reporting on preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension were identified. Although some studies suggested there may be signals of increased responses to increased noise exposure for preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, the certainty in the evidence of an effect of increased noise on all the outcomes was very low due to concerns with risk of bias, inconsistency across studies, and imprecision in the effect estimates. CONCLUSIONS: While the certainty of the evidence for noise exposure and adverse obstetric outcomes was very low, the findings from this review may be useful for directing further research in this area, as there is currently limited evidence available. These findings may also be useful for informing guidelines and policies involving noise exposure situations or environments.