Living Near Traffic Noise Raises Stroke Risk
It just may be true that living along a noisy street is damaging your health. According to researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, being regularly exposed to the sound of traffic makes a person more likely to suffer a stroke and die younger than a person living in a quiet neighborhood.
Scientists used the TRAffic Noise EXposure (TRANEX) model to assess levels of road traffic noise from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. across various areas of London, as well as nighttime traffic noise from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The data was then compared to the number of deaths and hospital admissions recorded in 2003 to 2010 among people ages 25 to 74 and 75 and older.
Their findings showed that when compared with residents living in areas with traffic noise below 55 decibels, those living near traffic noise about 60 decibels had a 4 percent greater risk of mortality from any cause.
Additionally, the results showed that adults aged 25 to 74 who lived in areas with traffic noise above 60 decibels had a 5 percent greater risk of stroke, and seniors had a 9 percent increase in stroke risk.
Nighttime traffic noise at 55 to 60 decibels was also associated with a 5 percent increased risk of stroke among the elderly, but not linked to a stroke risk among younger adults.
The researchers think these findings may be a result of increased cardiovascular problems triggered by higher blood pressure, increased stress levels, and sleep problems as a result of traffic noise.
Previous studies have shown an association between traffic noise and hearing impairment, cardiovascular disease, and increased waist size.