A new study shows that prolonged exposure to loud noises in cities can damage the heart in the long run. Researchers found that not only air pollution in big cities can make people ill. Noise pollution seems just as bad.
The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Past studies have also revealed a link between noise pollution and higher risk of heart disease. Road traffic, noisy construction sites, and car horns seem to boost blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and stroke.
The study results were adjusted for other factors that can influence the outcomes, such as air pollution, education, and social status of participants. It is unclear how loud noises can lead to heart issues.
The latest study has tried to find the mechanisms behind noise pollution’s adverse health effects. A research team at the Germany-based Johannes Gutenberg University sifted through dozens of research papers that analyzed the topic.
Chronic Noises Can Up Disease Risk
The new review found that exposure to loud noises for a prolonged period of time negatively affects the human body on a cellular level. Noise triggers stress responses in the body and keeps the system on high alert nearly all the time. This can lead to a copious production of stress hormones that, in time, can result in vascular damage.
Loud noises also seem to fuel metabolic issues and fuel oxidative stress, which can up the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes. People with a high risk of heart disease and stroke could see their atherosclerosis and other health issues get worse in a noisy environment.
The important point is that noise is not just annoying,
said Dr. Thomas Munzel who led the research.
Munzel’s work is mainly focused on the link between noise pollution and health issue, but it revealed evidence that persistent noises can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
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