Digital Public Defence: Jorunn Evandt
MSc Jorunn Evandt at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Nighttime road traffic noise and associations with insomnia symptoms and use of sleep medication” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).
Photo: Hege Finsrud.
The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.
The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.
Digital Trial Lecture – time and place
- First opponent: Senior Scientist Mark Brink, The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Noise and NIR division
- Second opponent: Professor II Børge Sivertsen, Folkehelseinstituttet
- Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Marit Bragelien Veierød, University of Oslo
Chair of the Defence
Professor emeritus Jørg Mørland, University of Oslo
Senior Scientist Gunn Marit Aasvang, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Exposure to traffic noise is a public health concern due to its potential to negatively impact sleep and health. In this thesis, we investigated how nighttime road traffic noise relates to insomnia symptoms and sleep medication use in adults. The postal survey, the Health and Environment in Oslo study (HELMILO) (n=13,019), formed the basis for the study population. HELMILO included questions on environmental factors, housing conditions, lifestyle, and health. We used two different data sources of sleep medication use; self-reported questionnaire data and registry data on dispensed prescriptions obtained from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD). Nighttime traffic noise levels were modelled by the City of Oslo and assigned to each participant’s home address. We also applied data from Statistics Norway. The associations between traffic noise and sleep outcomes were modelled using logistic regression and we adjusted for potential confounding factors. We observed positive associations between traffic noise and insomnia symptoms. Of the symptoms we assessed, the strongest associations were observed for difficulties falling asleep and waking up too early. Self-reported sleep medication use was not associated with traffic noise. For registry-based sleep medication use during one year, there was no association with noise. However, a positive association was observed for sleep medication use during summer. A limitation in using registry data on dispensed prescriptions as a measure of medication use is that it does not represent actual use, but rather whether a prescription has been filled at a pharmacy. Self-reported medication use, on the other hand, should represent actual use, but is prone to information bias. We compared these two data sources for both sleep medications and tranquilizers. Even though the results indicated reasonable agreement, it is still important to consider the limitations in each data source when applying such data in epidemiological studies.
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