Is it true that Aircraft Noise May Cause Hypertension And Organ Damage?
Previous studies have already linked regular exposure to aircraft noises with sleep disturbances, breathing problems during the night, and nervousness. However, a new research suggests that aircraft noise maybe directly connected with hypertension and organ failure.
According to Medical News Today, a Swedish research team has recently unraveled that there has been an increase in both hypertension and asymptomatic organ damage in those people who are constantly exposed to aircraft sounds over long periods of time.
New data on this subject was presented during a EuroPReven 2016 assembly by Marta Rojek, from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland. Rojek and her organization analyzed aircraft sound and how it can have an effect on hypertension and asymptomatic organ damage.
“The volume of air traffic has skyrocketed since jet powered planes were introduced in the 1960s,” said Rojek. “According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, there were 64 million take-offs and landings in 2013 and this figure is set to double in the next 20 years.”
She also said that the steady growth in air traffic and airport expansions along with the development of residential areas near airports, has led to an increase in the number of people exposed to aircraft noise. “There is emerging data to suggest that exposure to aircraft noise may increase the risk of hypertension, particularly at night, and of hospitalization for cardiovascular diseases – but more evidence is needed,” she continued.
Escardio.org reported that the current study’s subjects are 201 adults aging between 40 and 66 who lived in a segment with possibly low or high aircraft sound for the past 3 years. Among them, there are 101 frequently gifted aircraft sounds of 60 decibels or more, and the remaining 100 lived in an area that experiences sounds of 55 decibels or lower.
The subjects were all interconnected by age, gender, and a volume of time they had lived in the area. The individuals’ blood pressure was measured, so was the rigidity of their aorta and a mass and duty of a heart’s left ventricle (one of a heart’s 4 chambers). According to a piece from medicaltimes.ca, Aortic stiffness is a marker for biological aging and is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke and myocardial infarction.
As expected, those living nearest to airports, and enduring the highest air traffic noises, did poorly. Individuals living in an area where there was greater air traffic noise had increased hypertension, when compared with those living in quieter areas at 40 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
“Our results suggest that living near an airport for 3 years or more is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and hypertension. These changes may then lead to damage of the aorta and heart which could increase the risk of having a heart attack,” Rojek said.
Although evidences of the detrimental effect of aircraft noise on human health is steadily increasing, more research is needed before solid conclusions can be made. However, it seems clear that there are at least some physiological complications of living close to an airport.
Rojeck also said that the European Union regulations states that countries must assess and manage environmental noise. She also said that there are national laws regarding aircraft noise. Poland aircraft noise law states that there is a maximum of 55 dB around schools and hospitals and 60 dB for other areas. Noise can be kept below those levels by using only noise-certified aircraft, redirecting flight paths, keeping airports away from homes, and avoiding night flights.