Zoomer Report

Aircraft Noise And Health

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There’s more evidence about how noise can affect your health. A study of more than three and a half million people who live near Heathrow Airport in London finds their location increased the risks of stroke, heart and circulatory disease.

The work published in the British medical Journal suggested those risks were 10-20% higher in areas with the highest levels of aircraft noise.

And for the 70,000 people – who lived where the aircraft noise was loudest, there was a also a higher risk of both hospital admissions and death.

Another study in the BMJ,showed a higher rate of admission to hospital with cardiovascular problems for people living near 89 airports in the US.

The experts say the reason is not entirely clear but there’s a so-called startle reaction to a sudden loud noise, it can raise the heart rate and blood pressure. Sudden or not, it can have the same effect if people find the noise annoying, and it can certainly disturb sleep.

These results imply that the location of airports may have direct effects on the health of the surrounding population.

But the researchers stress that the higher risks related to aircraft noise remain much less significant than the risks from lifestyle factors – like smoking, a lack of exercise or poor diet.

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