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Dispatch from Canada

2013CanadianHealthStudycropped“..statistically significant” was the finding of the study “Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems.”

The research indicates statistically significant results for sleep, vertigo and tinnitus

according to authors Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis, who presented their poster at sessions on Oct. 24, 2013 (Symposia of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy) and October 17, 2013 (symposium on sustainability held at York University, Toronto).

The research was funded by the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

The responses from 396 surveys were included in the analysis.

Of note is the acknowledgement that as the distance from the IWT increases, sleep improves:

“The relationship between ln(distance) (as a continuous variable) and mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was found to be statistically significant (P=0.0096) when controlling for age, gender and county. This relationship shows that as the distance increases (move further away from a wind turbine), PSQI decreases (i.e. sleep improves) in a logarithmic relationship. Multivariate analysis involved assessing distance to the nearest wind turbine as both distance and ln(distance). In all cases, ln(distance) resulted in improved model fit.”

In addition the authors state that the relationship between vertigo and tinnitus worsened for those living closer to IWTs:

“The relationship between vertigo and ln(distance) was statistically significant (P<0.001) when controlling for age, gender, and county. The relationship between tinnitus and ln(distance) approached statistical significance (P=0.0755). Both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines.”

The conclusion states:

“In conclusion, relationships were found between ln(distance) and PSQI, ln(distance) and self-reported vertigo and ln(distance) and self-reported tinnitus. Study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.”

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