Living Near an Airport Can Raise Your Blood Pressure
A recent study links long-term exposure to noise from aircraft—especially at night—to an increased risk for high blood pressure. The research, which was conducted in Greece and published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine, also showed a potential link to stroke and heart palpitations, but this association was not statistically significant.
The study involved 420 people living near Athens International Airport, where approximately 600 planes land or take off each day. For the study, researchers used estimated aircraft and traffic noise exposure levels. Daytime exposure was defined as between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and nighttime exposure from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Just under 49 percent of study participants were exposed to more than 55 decibels (dB) of daytime aircraft noise, and just over 27 percent were exposed to more than 45 dB of nighttime aircraft noise. For every 10 dB increase in nighttime aircraft noise, the researchers observed a 69 percent higher risk for high blood pressure overall.