Exposure to loud aircraft noise over a long period of time may increase the risk of a heart attack, according to researchers at the University of Bern who analysed a data record of 4.5 million people over the age of 30.
They said 15 years and more of exposure were particularly dangerous, but that women's risk of dying by a heart attack did not appear to be affected by aircraft noise.
The Swiss study showed the risk to be highest for men living in old homes poorly insulated against noise. The researchers surmise that aircraft noise acts as a stress factor on the nervous and hormonal systems.
Further studies aim to determine whether the observed link between aircraft noise and heart attacks is causal in nature. The analysis by Swiss researchers did not take other risk factors such as smoking or cholesterol levels into account.
(Sapa, October 2010)
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