Hearing management

Updated 12 July 2016

Traffic noise increases the risk of heart attack

In patients who died of heart attack in the Rhine-Main region of Germany, a statistically significant association was found between noise exposure and the risk of heart attack.

0

Your risk of heart attack increases with the amount of traffic noise to which you are exposed. The increase in risk - though slight - is greatest with road and rail traffic noise, less with aircraft noise.

Prevention of traffic noise

Such are the conclusions reached by Andreas Seidler and co-authors in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International after evaluating information from statutory health insurers on over a million Germans over the age of 40 (Dtsch Arztbl Int; 2016; 113: 407-14).

Read: How noise pollution threatens your health

In this case-control study of secondary data, the addresses of persons living in the Rhine-Main region were matched precisely to road, rail, and traffic noise exposure measurements for 2005.

When the analysis was restricted to patients who died of heart attack up to 2014/2015, a statistically significant association was found between noise exposure and the risk of heart attack.

The authors believe the lower risk from aircraft noise can be explained by the fact that, unlike road and rail traffic noise, aircraft noise never remains continuously above 65 dB. They also see indications from their analysis that exposure to traffic noise influences not just the genesis, but the course of a heart attack.

Read: The 10 worst jobs for your ears

Although strictly speaking these results show only an association between traffic noise and heart attack, the authors believe that the sheer numbers of people affected by noise pollution mean that it is now right to start intensive efforts towards effective prevention of traffic noise.

This original article published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International is part of the Europe-wide NORAH (Noise-Related Annoyance, Cognition, and Health) study investigating the health consequences of traffic noise.

Read more:

What is hearing loss?

Symptoms of hearing loss

Types of hearing loss


EurekAlert

 

Ask the Expert

Hearing Expert

Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules