Avoid the din

Constant traffic noise can increase risk of heart attack

By Salma Rehman
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015


LIVING in a house on a noisy highway can give you more than a headache. The constant din from the traffic can make you prone to heart attack.

Danish researchers have found that long-term exposure to residential traffic noise significantly increases the chances of heart attack in a person. Their study, published in PLoS ONE, found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise, risk of heart attack goes up by 12 per cent. The effect of noise pollution on heart was found to be independent of the effect of air pollution.

The experts did not spell out the exact relation between traffic noise and heart attacks, but made a few guesses. They said noise might cause an increase in stress level and induce sleep disturbances, which over the years can translate into a heart condition.

For their study, the researchers examined 57,000 people between the age of 50 and 64 years from two of the Denmark’s largest cities—Copenhagen and Aarhus. They kept track of many aspects of the participants’ health, like diet and physical activity along with data on places they lived over a 20-year period. Using residential address history, exposure to road traffic noise and air pollution from 1988 to 2006 was estimated for all participants.

The researchers found that 1,600 people suffered their first heart attack during the study period. They figured out a strong link between noise and heart attacks even when other triggers of heart problems like high BMI, low consumption of fruits and vegetables, smoking and use of alcohol were considered in the statistical analysis. “People should practice yoga and other physical exercises that can reduce the stress produced by traffic noise,” says Sanjay Chugh, cardiologist with the Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi.

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  • Noise, according to the

    Noise, according to the Ecosystem Approach to life Processes and the Oxidative Dehydration theory on Life Processes Health & Disease (Mirza Arshad Ali Beg, Life Processes, Health, Aging & Disease, An Ecosystem Approach to Life Processes, R&D Publications, Karachi 2012), consists of electromagnetic waves and it interacts as an oxidant at the nano and pico level of the human system i.e. it interacts with the nervous system.

    Noise consists of frequent and sudden alteration of free energy in the nanoenvironment which is the level where life processes operate through exchange of free energy.

    High noise level is cause for oxidative dehydration induced stress in the nano and picoenvironment.

    Frequent noise can be produced in the normal operation of all kinds of machines, such as trucks, excavators, bulldozers and drilling machines.

    Working in noisy environments for long time will lead to oxidative dehydration induced stress and lead to nervous system-related diseases including tinnitus, irritability, and insomnia in the initial stages of noise induced stress.

    Noise is a certain health hazard to human health, which will be put to risk if it remains continuously under stress. This is the stage where the stress will be converted to strain. The strain will appear on the systems that operate with electromagnetic impulses, the most vulnerable being the nervous and cardiac functions.

    According to the above theory, the free energy removed by oxidative dehydration induced stress can be reversed by reductive rehydration or by restoring the free energy status at the nano and picoenvironment.

    One way of reversal of stress would be protective measures so that the sensitivity of the acoustic system is not disturbed.

    The above provides a logical explanation to the observations published in PLoS ONE, which found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise, risk of heart attack goes up by 12 per cent. The effect of noise pollution on heart was found to be independent of the effect of air pollution.

    Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg

    Former Director General
    PCSIR Karachi

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply
  • Effect of noise is dependent

    Effect of noise is dependent not only on the dB level of the noise as well as the period for which the person is exposed to this noise. These details are missing in the news item. Also the detail about the dB noise level these subjects were exposed are missing. These two details are crucial to understand the impact.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply