Neighborhood Noise Has Indirect Impact on Health
Several studies have shown that exposure to noise—in the home or workplace, for example—can be harmful. But new research suggests living in the noisiest, lower-income city neighborhoods can have a positive impact on health indicators like body weight and blood pressure.
Results of the study, which was conducted in New York City, were published in the Journal of Community Health. All the participants lived in affordable public housing and were involved in the NYC Low-Income Housing, Neighborhoods and Health Study.
According to researchers, people living within five blocks of the noisiest areas—based on noise complaints filed—had a body mass index (BMI) 2.72 points lower and a systolic (top number) blood pressure reading 5.43 points lower than those living in neighborhoods with the fewest noise complaints. Walkability of the neighborhoods and social factors may account for these findings, which were unexpected.
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