Chronic exposure to environmental noise increases risk of heart disease

Chronic exposure to environmental noise from road traffic and aircrafts can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and arterial hypertension. And the potential mechanisms underlying this increased risk have been explored in a study published online February 5, 2018 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study proposes that noise induces a stress response, characterized by activation of the sympathetic nervous system and increased levels of hormones, which will initiate sequelae and ultimately lead to vascular damage. Traffic noise may disrupt the body on the cellular level in a way that increases the risk of common heart disease risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes because noise is associated with oxidative stress, vascular dysfunction, autonomic imbalance and metabolic abnormalities.

Autonomic imbalance due to environmental noise is also suggested as a potential factor contributing to the cardiovascular risk factors including progression of atherosclerotic process.

(Source: ACC Press release, February 5, 2018)

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