Take Note Researchers say living near noisy roads increases risk of early death

According to the study, those most at risk were those over-75s with their chance of dying over seven years 10% higher than people who lived in quieter neighbourhoods.

  • Published:
play (The Telegraph)
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A new study as found that those who live near a road are at a risk of dying early owing to the noise.

Researchers at Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found those who lived on the noisiest roads had a greater chance of suffering a heart attack of stroke and dying early.

According to the study, those most at risk were those over-75s with their chance of dying over seven years 10% higher than people who lived in quieter neighbourhoods.

It also found that young adults had a 4% increased risk of early death.

For the study, researchers looked at 8.6 million people living in Greater London between 2003 and 2010.

According to lead author Dr Jaana Halonen from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine:

 “Road traffic noise has previously been associated with sleep problems and increased blood pressure, but our study is the first in the UK to show a link with deaths and strokes."

Researchers say traffic noise can lead to increased blood pressure, sleep problems and stress which is dangerous to health long term.

Also found was that adults living in areas with the noisiest daytime traffic, more than 60dB (roughly the sound of a busy high-street) were 5% more likely to be admitted to hospital for stroke compared to those who lived in quieter areas, less than 55dB, which went up to 9% in the elderly.

According to  study co-author Dr Anna Hansell from Imperial College London, the study raises "important questions about the potential health effects of noise in our cities that need further investigation".

The British Hearth Foundation said that cutting traffic pollution was likely to be more effective at reducing deaths than noise reductions.

Study researchers also say traffic-generated air pollution, is also a risk factor, and according to Prof Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation, "reducing air pollution from traffic is more important for heart health than reducing noise.”

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