(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) – A new study suggests that prolonged exposure to loud traffic can increase a person’s risk of stroke, especially in people over the age of 65.
According to the study, published in the European Heart Journal, a person under the age of 65 is 14 percent more likely to suffer a stroke for every 10 decibels or more of traffic noise. The risk increases significantly for those over 65, to 27 percent.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology of Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen say the increased risk is also tied to stress.
"Exposure to traffic noise is believed to provoke a stress response and disturb sleep, which might increase the risk for stroke, through mechanisms including increased level of stress hormones, increased heart rate and blood pressure and impaired immune system,” said senior researcher Mette Sorensen. "Although our study was the first study on traffic noise and stroke, I was not surprised of the results as earlier studies have found traffic noise to be associated with other cardiovascular diseases.”
The study also accounted for other factors such as pollution, smoking and diet habits and other noise contributors such as planes and railways.
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