Long-term community noise exposure in relation to dementia, cognition, and cognitive decline in older adults

Jennifer Weuve, Jennifer D'Souza, Todd Beck, Denis A. Evans, Joel D. Kaufman, Kumar B. Rajan, Carlos F.Mendes de Leon, Sara D. Adar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Exposure to noise might influence risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. Methods: Participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project (≥65 years) underwent triennial cognitive assessments. For the 5 years preceding each assessment, we estimated 5227 participants’ residential level of noise from the community using a spatial prediction model, and estimated associations of noise level with prevalent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, cognitive performance, and rate of cognitive decline. Results: Among these participants, an increment of 10 A-weighted decibels (dBA) in noise corresponded to 36% and 29% higher odds of prevalent MCI (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 1.62) and AD (OR = 1.29, 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.55). Noise level was associated with worse global cognitive performance, principally in perceptual speed (–0.09 standard deviation per 10 dBA, 95% CI: –0.16 to –0.03), but not consistently associated with cognitive decline. Discussion: These results join emerging evidence suggesting that noise may influence late-life cognition and risk of dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cognition
  • cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • epidemiology
  • noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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