New Study Says Traffic Noise Can Give You a Heart Attack

By Jacob Brown | July 02, 2012
What do pollution, fatty foods, pretty much anything in the state of California, and traffic noises have in common? They can all kill you. In a new study by the Danish Cancer Society looked at 50,000 men and women, aged 50 to 64, living in Copenhagen and Aarhus, two of Denmark's largest cities, over a 10-year span. The researchers looked at the participants' health over the time and correlated it with just how loud traffic patterns were outside their houses. Even accounting for diet, exercise and air pollution, the researchers were able to find that most of the 1,600 participants who suffered heart attacks lived in louder areas. What caused the health deterioration? People's stress levels in urban areas are often higher than those who live in suburbia. Also, the loud noises emitted by constant traffic may make it harder for residents to get a good night's sleep, a factor that has long been linked to heart disease.
In their findings, the Danish Cancer Society said it started seeing people's health conditions deteriorate right as sound levels hit 40 decibels, or about as much as a bird call or inside the library. From there, the society said it saw numbers correlate with respondents' health levels. So what does all of this mean to you? Not a whole lot if you live in a quiet, sleepy neighborhood without much noise. But if you live in a city, especially a bigger one, it means you're pretty much screwed. Or, as the researchers suggest, it means you should try to move towards an interior room away from noise. Getting more sleep and preventing stress are apparently more important than we thought when it comes to long-term health and well-being. Source: Time Magazine