Aircraft Noise Linked To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease, Stroke - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Aircraft Noise Linked To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease, Stroke

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From Hal Eisner:

These two studies suggest basically the same thing...that exposure to high levels of noise from airplanes could be hazardous to your health!

One study was done in London and looked at the health of over 3.6 million people in the boroughs around Heathrow International Airport. The other in the United States in areas around 89 different U.S. airports. That one looked at more than 6 million Americans over the age of 65.

Both studies – which were conducted separately, were published in the British Medical Journal and both suggested a link between living near big noisy airports and such things as stroke and heart disease.

In both studies researchers looked at noise level data and hospital admissions and found that the risk increased the closer one lived to a big noisy airport.

Researchers say this doesn't prove high aircraft noise causes disease. It just shows a link.

For instance…in the British study researchers found that 10 to 20% more airport area residents were likely to be admitted to hospitals for stroke or heart disease than others in the study area. In the American research project…the risk increased for every 10 decibels of noise. Besides the link -- the numbers showed an increased risk of death from those diseases.

Researchers did say that the studies could help planners in future airport design as it relates to heavily populated neighborhoods that surround them.

It also suggested that more research should be done to get a better handle on why these things appear to be happening – whether it, for instance, has to do with disrupting sleep, raising blood pressure by the constant barrage of jet noise or some other medical reason.



(FOX 11 / HealthDay) People who put up with the constant roar of aircraft overhead may be at higher risk for heart disease, two new studies suggest.

In one study, British researchers compared rates of stroke and heart disease among 3.6 million people who lived near London's sprawling Heathrow airport, one of the busiest transit hubs in the world.

The results showed that these people were at heightened risk for death and hospitalization from heart issues. The risk was highest among the 2 percent of the study population exposed to the highest daytime and night-time levels of aircraft noise, the team said.

In the second study, researchers analyzed data from more than 6 million people aged 65 and older who lived near 89 U.S. airports during 2009. On average, people who lived in zip codes with 10 decibel higher levels of aircraft noise had a 3.5 percent higher rate of hospitalization for heart disease.

As in the British study, the association between hospitalization for cardiovascular disease and aircraft noise was strongest among people exposed to the highest levels of aircraft noise, say researchers led by Dr. Francesa Dominici of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Heart experts weren't surprised by the findings.

"Despite the thought that perhaps aircraft noise might [only] be a cause of sleep disturbances -- of being disruptive or a mere irritation -- these studies are showing the real health threat of airport noise," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"Certainly this information should become an important issue when deciding where to live, or in city planning for the future," she said.

Dr. Sripal Bangalore, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said the new research "adds to growing literature on environmental-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease."

"One is left to wonder whether aircraft technicians, maintenance personnel and ground crews who are not only at risk of job-related hearing loss, are also at high risk of cardiovascular disease," said Bangalore, who is also assistant professor in department of medicine at NYU.

The authors of the British study said that cities like London are under enormous pressure to meet the demands of the airline industry. "However, policy decisions need to take account of potential health- related concerns, including possible effects of environmental noise on cardiovascular health," wrote a team led by Paul Elliott of Imperial College London.

Both studies were published online Oct. 8 in the journal While the studies showed an association between chronic exposure to aircraft noise and heart trouble, they were observational in nature and could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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