Noisy roads increase risk of high blood pressure

Sep 09, 2009

Traffic noise raises blood pressure. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health have found that people exposed to high levels of noise from nearby roads are more likely to report suffering from hypertension.

Theo Bodin worked with a team or researchers from Lund University Hospital, Sweden, to investigate the association between living close to noisy roads and having raised blood pressure. He said, "Road traffic is the most important source of community noise. Non-auditory physical health effects that are biologically plausible in relation to noise exposure include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of . We found that exposure above 60 decibels was associated with high among the relatively young and middle-aged, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke".

In total, approximately 30% of the population in the European Union is exposed to a day-night average of traffic noise exceeding 55dB(A), and this number is increasing. Bodin and his colleagues used health survey questionnaires for 27,963 people living in Scania in southern Sweden and related this information to how close the respondents lived to busy roads. Modest exposure effects were generally noted in all age groups at average road noise levels below 60 dB(A). More marked effects were seen at higher exposure levels among relatively young and middle-aged people, whereas no effects at higher levels were discerned in the oldest age group (60 - 80 years old). Speaking about this age-effect, Bodin said, "The effect of noise may become less important, or harder to detect, relative to other risk factors with increasing age. Alternatively, it could be that noise annoyance varies with age".

More information: Road traffic noise and hypertension: results from a cross-sectional public health survey in southern Sweden; Theo Bodin, Maria Albin, Jonas Ardo, Emilie Stroh, Per-Olof Ostergren and Jonas Bjork; Environmental Health (in press); www.ehjournal.net/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Promoting the positive effects of nutrition on health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Noisy workplaces can make workers deaf

Mar 10, 2009

The majority of the 650,000 employees from Quebec's manufacturing sector - specifically those working in metallurgy and sawmilling - are exposed to noise levels that exceed governmental norms.

Road pollution blamed for higher allergy risk in kids

Jun 13, 2008

New evidence blames traffic-related pollution for increasing the risk of allergy and atopic diseases among children by more than fifty percent. What's more, the closer children live to roads, the higher their risk.

Sedentary teens more likely to have higher blood pressure

Feb 05, 2007

Teenagers who spend a lot of time planted in front of the TV are more likely to have higher blood pressure, regardless of whether they are overweight. "This is the first research to show a direct and independent connection ...

Heavy traffic makes breathing a burden in children

Dec 14, 2007

Exposure to traffic pollution may increase respiratory problems and reduce lung volumes in children with asthma, according to researchers who studied the effects of road and traffic density on children’s lung function and ...

Recommended for you

Smoking out the facts in the E-cigarette debate

1 hour ago

Electronic cigarettes seem to have become as ubiquitous as the vapor they produce. Their popularity has been skyrocketing over the past two years, even in the midst of a fierce debate about their potential ...

Women, work and the menopause

2 hours ago

Menopausal women fear age-based discrimination in the workplace and face a glaring lack of menopause-specific support, according to new research.

Cohabiting couples differ on contraceptive use by class

3 hours ago

Most cohabiting couples intend to delay childbirth until they're married, steadily employed and financially stable. Despite these preferences, surprise pregnancies are common, particularly among working-class men and women ...

Nurse turnover assessments inconsistent

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—More than 17 percent of new nurses leave their first job within one year of starting, according to research published online Aug. 25 in Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice.

User comments : 0