Regular Exposure to Loud Noise Boosts Heart Disease Risk

Working in an environment with loud noise may actually damage your heart.

According to a new study from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington, people with long-term exposure to loud noise at work or in leisure activities may be at increased risk of heart disease.

To conduct their study, the team looked at data on 5,223 participants in national health surveys between 1999 and 2004. Participants ranged in age from 20 to 69 when they were surveyed. The results showed that people with high-frequency hearing loss in both ears were about twice as likely to have coronary heart disease compared to those with normal high-frequency hearing.

Among those age 50 and under who were also exposed to loud noise at work, the heart disease risk increased by four times. The team noted that there was no link to heart disease among people with one-sided hearing loss or loss of lower-frequency hearing.

Because the study only looked at people at one time point, the researchers cannot prove that noise or hearing loss are direct causes of heart disease. However, they advised people who have no choice but to spend a lot of time in environments with loud noise to protect themselves with earmuffs or earplugs.

This Week's Slice of History: 1st U.S. Insane Asylum: Oct. 12, 1773

Sourced from: Reuters, Loud noise exposure linked to heart disease risk