Everyone who lives in a crowded neighborhood knows how that gruesome noise coming from cars can take away all peace of mind and make us all even more stressed out than we already are. A team of researchers recently found an association between long-term exposure to the black magic of road traffic and death rates. It seems that those of us who are unlucky enough to live in areas with high traffic, are also exposed to develop high risks of stroke.
There are 4% more chances for people exposed to traffic noise over 60 decibels to develop heart diseases. Most causes of death are related to increased blood pressure, stress and sleep problems that make the brain go nuts and the heart beat at a rapid and alarming pace.
Sleep disorders and increased blood pressure are oftentimes related to road traffic noise. This particular study is the first one in UK showing a powerful link with deaths and strokes associated with road traffic. The data provided for analysis came from 8.6 million people living in London and the timeframe for studying was limited to 7 years, starting with 2003 and ending in 2010. During this period of time, almost 450.000 adults died and 290.000 of them were elderly. Over 400.000 adults were admitted to the hospital for heart problems. Researchers measured the level of traffic noise people were exposed to on a daily basis and also looked over other risk factors, such as age, sex, neighborhood characteristics, air pollution and smoking rates.
Areas with daytime road traffic noise bring disturbance in the minds and bodies of inhabitants and that is a fact supported by extensive research. Long term exposure to noise pollution from traffic reduces life expectancy.
A quieter neighborhood allows for more silence and peace for the mind and for the heart. The World Health Organization declared that 55db is a noise level that can cause health problems for the community. 55db equals a loud conversation between two people so it’s not necessary for us to stay in front of road racing cars to be exposed to high blood pressure and other disturbances that cause serious health problems.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the present study only showed an association between the two and not a cause-effect relationship. Traffic noise may increase the risk of developing heart diseases and sleep disorders, but it is not the main cause of that. There are many factors that contribute to our health problems, such as lifestyle, including diet, smoking or nutritional habits, stress exposure, and so on.
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