The constant rumbling of cars, trucks, and trains is not just annoying, it can raise your blood pressure.
A study recently published in the journal Environmental Health found that people exposed to high levels of noise from roads near their homes were more likely to report that they were suffering from chronic hypertension.
“Road traffic is the most important source of community noise,” said lead researcher Theo Bodin from Lund University Hospital, Sweden, in a news release.
“We found that exposure above 60 decibels was associated with high blood pressure among the relatively young and middle-aged, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.”
Typical noise of a conversation is 60 decibels while a vacuum cleaner is 70 decibels.
The researchers surveyed more than 24,000 adults living in Sweden.
The study found a modest link between hypertension and average traffic noise between 45 and 65 decibels. However, the link grew stronger with higher levels of noise.
The risk of hypertension was highest in relatively young or middle-aged people, whereas no effects were seen in the oldest age group.
Many urban dwellers experience traffic noise levels of 55 decibels or more, the authors noted, and those numbers are growing.
- Los Angeles Times