Car horns, airplanes and other loud noises could increase risk for heart disease


Do you live near a busy road or airport? While the high levels of pollution may be a health concern, you should also beware of the noise, according to a report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany recently conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, to determine the link between noise pollution and cardiovascular disease.

To do so, they examined years of data and previous studies on pollution. They looked at people and animals that were exposed to frequent noise from construction, airplanes and traffic as well as their health outcomes. 

After analyzing the results, they found that noise is associated with oxidative stress, vascular damage, autonomic imbalance and metabolic abnormalities. Therefore, it can induce stress responses, activating the “fight or flight” nervous system.

>> Related: Short-term exposure to air pollution can lead to 20,000 extra deaths

They believe high and consistent exposure to lots of noise, even when you’re sleeping, can eventually lead to the development of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. “One can close his eyes but not his ears,” lead author Thomas Munzel told Time. 

The scientists said those in urban areas should think about the noise population around them. Furthermore, the problem could exacerbate as more people move to these populous locations. 

>> Related: Urban air pollution makes exercise useless for older people

While they did not note the volume threshold for heart disease risk, they said chronic exposure to anything above 60 decibels, which is the level of an typical conversation in the office, can be harmful. A telephone ring is about 80 decibels, a jackhammer produces about 100 and an airplane takeoff is 120.

Despite their findings, they think specific strategies, such as the traffic management and low-noise tires for cars, are a step in the right direction, and they are hopeful for even more advancements. 

>> Related: Satellite images show extent of air pollution worldwide

"As the percentage of the population exposed to detrimental levels of transportation noise are rising,” authors said, “new developments and legislation to reduce noise are important for public health."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry wed
Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry wed

Actress Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry got married Saturday in a highly anticipated, star-studded ceremony in St. George’s Chapel at England’s Windsor Castle.  Update 6:21 a.m. EDT Sunday: The British royal family took to Twitter late Saturday to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and thank their...
Florida woman smiles in mugshot during DUI arrest after fatal crash
Florida woman smiles in mugshot during DUI arrest after fatal crash

A Marion County woman was all smiles in her mug shot when she was arrested on DUI charges after a crash that killed a 60-year-old woman last week, the Florida Highway Patrol said.  Angenette Marie Welk, 44, was driving east in a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche on US-27 just before noon last Thursday when she rear-ended a car stopped at the intersection...
Watch: Texas man learns how to style wife’s hair
Watch: Texas man learns how to style wife’s hair

True love knows no limits and for one couple, their love is beginning to go viral. An apprentice hairstylist captured a heartwarming Facebook video of the elderly couple during a hair appointment at The Foundry Salon in New Braunfels, Texas. The stylist posted in the caption that the client in the video “can no longer style her hair herself&rdquo...
Child dies after motorized room partition crushes him at school
Child dies after motorized room partition crushes him at school

A 9-year-old boy from Franconia, Virginia, is dead after he was crushed by a motorized room partition. Police said that third grader Wesley Lipicky and a teacher, both hit a button to open the partition. The wall is motorized and splits a room in half, WUSA reported. Lipicky was caught between the divider and the wall in the gym, suffering traumatic...
University survey asking if students want to know whether 'black people hate America' draws ire
University survey asking if students want to know whether 'black people hate America' draws ire

A Texas university is experiencing backlash over a cultural survey asking students to rate their interest in learning answers to controversial questions like, "Do black people hate America?"  According to the Dallas Morning News, Southern Methodist University's Cultural Intelligence Initiative first posted the survey, titled "Ask...
More Stories