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Study Links Noisy Environment to Heart Attacks

Study Links Noisy Environment to Heart Attacks

Wednesday, April 19th 2006

Researchers say dealing with chronic traffic and workplace din causes stress

Living or working in noisy surroundings may raise a person's risk of heart attack, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Germany found that urban middle-aged adults who lived near high-traffic roads were 46 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than those who lived in more peaceful neighbourhoods.

Similarly, men whose jobs exposed them to high noise levels were one-third more likely to have a heart attack than their peers in quieter workplaces.

The reason for these associations is not completely clear, but the stress of dealing with chronic noise may be involved, according to the researchers, led by Dr Stefan Willich of Charite University Medical Centre in Berlin.

Several studies have suggested that long-term exposure to traffic noise or loud workplaces such as factory floors may contribute to high blood pressure and heart attack risk.

To the body, loud noise acts as a "warning", and the normal stress response involves hormonal changes and a spike in blood pressure and heart rate.

Researchers suspect that over time, chronic noise exposure may damage the cardiovascular system.

In the present study, published in the European Heart Journal, the researchers considered the actual sound levels of neighbourhoods and workplaces, and study participants' perceptions of the noise.

They found that women who said they were "annoyed" by traffic noise around their homes were at greater heart attack risk than women who were unfazed. But men's annoyance levels, at home or work, were unrelated to heart attack risk.

By objective measures - based on official traffic-noise data for Berlin - men and women who lived off noisy roads had an elevated heart attack risk. Objective measures of work-place noise were related to heart attack risk only among men.

The gender differences, according to Willich's team, may reflect the fact that men are more likely to work in particularly noisy industries, while women may be more likely to be home during the day - and annoyed by surrounding traffic.

The study included 4115 people, mostly in their 50s, who had been treated for a heart attack in a Berlin hospital. They were compared with a control group of adults the same age without a heart attack history.

Even with heart risk factors considered - such as smoking, obesity and family history of heart attack - people with greater noise exposure had a higher risk of attack.

Whether protective gear for the ears, worn to prevent hearing damage, may also lower heart risks is unclear.

But the findings, say researchers, point to a need to study the question.

Source; New Zealand Herald, Friday 31st March 2006

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Cardiovascular Health:

Bergamet Mega
Cayenne Garlic
Co-Q Max
Fish Oil 1500 - Odourless
Garlicin HC
Hawthorn Berries
Heart Health Pack
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
Hi-Strength Coenzyme Q10 150mg
Ester C 1000mg + Bioflavonoids
Recharge & Relax
Strauss Heartdrops 50ml
Superior Magnesium

Related health information can be found here:

Blood Clots
Blood Pressure (High)
Blood Pressure (Low)
Blood pressure and hypertension
Cayenne to strengthen the circulation, equalise blood pressure, arrest bleeding & assist with colds
Circulatory Problems
Co-Q Max to assist with cardiovascular and immune health
Do you suffer from muscle cramps, PMS, insomnia or nervousness? Then you could be low in magnesium
Fish oils, garlic and antioxidants for the prevention & treatment of cardiovascular disease

Related articles can be found here:

CoQ10 and Heart Health
Healthy Heart and Circulatory System
Looking To The 50s For The Good Oil
One Drink a Day Improves Overall Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin C Use May Lower Heart Disease Risk
White Blood Cell Count Predicts All-Cause Mortality in Heart Disease Patients

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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