Noise exposure during the first trimester and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

Kyoung Bok Min, Jin Young Min

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes that affects pregnant women. GDM tends to resolve after delivery, but has an impact on the health of the mother and her offspring. Considering the potential association between noise and diabetes and the susceptibility of the pregnant state to diabetogenesis, noise pollution may be associated with the risk of GDM; however, there is no evidence of the effect of noise pollution on GDM. In this study, we investigated the association between residential exposure to noise during the first trimester and incidence of GDM using the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC), a representative sample of South Koreans. We analyzed the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (2002-2013), a population-wide health insurance claim data. Study population was a total of 18 165 pregnant women. GDM was defined as ICD-10 code O244, and noise exposure levels were categorized as daytime (07:00-19:00) and nighttime (23:00-7:00). Other known risk factors for GDM were age, income, residential area, physical activity, smoking, drinking, blood sugar levels, and body mass index before getting pregnant. The study population included 18 165 pregnant women, of which 8.8% developed gestational diabetes. After adjustment, the adjusted OR (95% CI) for GDM associated with 1 dB increase in nighttime noise was 1.07 (95% CI: 1.05-1.10). Compared with the reference group (Quartile 1), the adjusted ORs for GDM in those exposed to the highest quartile of noise exposure (Quartile 4) was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.38-1.87) at nighttime noise. However, no significant association was observed between daytime noise exposure (07:00-19:00) and the incidence of GDM. We observed that the odds of gestational diabetes during the first trimester was 1.6 times higher for pregnant women exposed to elevated nighttime noise compared to similar women exposed to normal baseline noise levels in South Korea. Although this finding should be replicated, residential noise exposure at night may be a diabetogenic risk for pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074015
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2017


  • diabetogenic
  • environmental health
  • insulin resistance
  • noise pollution
  • pregnancy

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