Health Care Federation of Nigeria

Heart diseasesPeople who live near noisy roads, train tracks and airports are at greater risk of developing heart disease, research suggests. Experts believe a constant background drone raises the level of stress hormones to dangerous levels.

This increases the burden on the body’s blood vessels and damages cells, which over time can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The researchers, writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reviewed all available studies on the link between noise pollution and heart risk.

They found increased noise raises the risk of stress and anxiety hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones, which put the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode, make the heart pump more quickly and raise blood pressure.

Over time this increases strain on the blood vessels and the heart, leading to increased risk of inflamed blood vessels and clotting.

The scientists, from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, wrote: “It has been proposed that chronic stress reactions, by activation of the autonomic nervous system and increased levels of circulating cortisol, may lead to vascular dysfunction.”

German researchers found increased noise raises the risk of stress and anxiety hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

These hormones, which put the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode, make the heart pump more quickly and raise blood pressure.

Over time this increases strain on the blood vessels and the heart, leading to increased risk of inflamed blood vessels and clotting.

The Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz team wrote: “Road traffic is by far the greatest contributor to traffic noise pollution.”

Studies have also found people who are less stressed have lower cholesterol levels, a better immune response and higher levels of antioxidants in the blood.

Study leader Professor of Medicine Dr Thomas Munzel said: “As the percentage of the population exposed to detrimental levels of transportation noise are rising, new developments and legislation to reduce noise are important for public health.”

The research team called for traffic management and regulation to reduce the risk.

They also say the low-noise tyres could help the problem, along with air traffic curfews, and quieter brakes on trains.

They wrote: “Road traffic is by far the greatest contributor to traffic noise pollution, and frequently used abatement procedures are reduced speed limits, quiet road surfaces, and noise barriers along major roads.

“However, because of the extent and the temporal increase in exposure, other strategies, such as traffic management and regulation and development of low-noise tyres, are greatly needed.

“Air transport has increased for many years, and strategies for reducing exposure include restriction or curfew during night, where noise has been shown to be especially hazardous.”

 

 

Source: Guardian

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