According to Fox News on Wednesday, a new study shows that that elderly people consistently exposed to aircraft noise – especially at high levels – are at an increased risk of being hospitalized for cardiovascular disease.
“There’ve been a number of studies that have looked at how aircraft noise can affect things like blood pressure or stress or sleep deprivation, and all these things can influence cardiovascular health,” co-author Jonathan Levy, a professor of environmental health at BUSPH and adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, told FoxNews.com. “So we were interested (in) if we saw an association with cardiovascular hospitalization.”
In a second study, researchers analyzed data from more than 6 million people aged 65 and older who lived near 89 U.S. airports during 2009. On average, people who lived in zip codes with 10 decibel higher levels of aircraft noise had a 3.5 percent higher rate of hospitalization for heart disease.
Heart experts weren't surprised by the findings.
"Despite the thought that perhaps aircraft noise might [only] be a cause of sleep disturbances -- of being disruptive or a mere irritation -- these studies are showing the real health threat of airport noise," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Overall, 2.3 percent of the cardiovascular hospital admissions studied were found to be attributable to airport noise. Given these results, Levy hopes these residents, as well as transportation officials, will consider taking precautionary measures in order to reduce the potentially harmful effects aircraft noise may have on the population.
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.
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