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Traffic noise increases blood pressure

I avoid walking near busy roads and will plan my route to avoid them. The noise and smell is awful!

Now a study shows high traffic roads are not just annoying but also increasing our blood pressure.

People exposed to noise from roads near their homes were more likely to have chronic hypertension the study showed.

The noisy traffic study

Swedish researchers studied survey health data, including blood pressure levels of 24,238 adults. They then assessed the average road noise at their home address.

The researchers adjusted the data for age, sex, BMI, alcohol intake, exercise, education, smoking and socioeconomic status. They wanted to just see the effect that traffic noise at their homes made on blood pressure.

The results

The researchers found that noise above 60 decibels increased the risk of high blood pressure by more than 25%.

Above 64 decibels the risk increased by more than 90% although they said that the low numbers in this group could have skewed the findings.

The researchers noted that most urban homes have traffic noise levels of around 55 decibels.

What the researchers said …

The researchers suggested that it was likely noise caused stress and possibly sleep disruption, which could all lead to high blood pressure.

Study author Theo Bodin said, “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.” The Swedish study was published in Environmental Health journal.

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Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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