Scientists from Imperial College London and other European institutions monitored 140 sleeping volunteers in their homes near London Heathrow and three other major European airports.
The researchers measured the volunteers’ blood pressure remotely at 15-minute intervals and then analysed how this related to the noise recorded in the volunteers’ bedrooms.
People with high blood pressure (hypertension) have an increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. High blood pressure is defined by World Health Organisation as being 140/90mmHg or more.
The researchers found that volunteers’ blood pressure increased noticeably after they experienced a ‘noise event’ – a noise louder than 35 decibels – such as aircraft travelling overhead, traffic passing outside, or a partner snoring. This effect could be seen even if the volunteer remained asleep and so was not consciously disturbed.
Aircraft noise events caused an average increase in systolic blood pressure of 6.2 mmHg and an average increase in diastolic blood pressure of 7.4 mmHg. Similar increases in blood pressure were seen also for other noise sources such as road traffic.
The researchers found that the increase in blood pressure was related to the loudness of the noise, so that a greater increase in blood pressure could be seen where the noise level was higher. For example, for every 5dB increase in aircraft noise at its loudest point, there was an increase of 0.66 mmHg in systolic blood pressure.
The decibel level - and not the origin of the sound - was the key factor in determining the effect that each noise event had on the volunteers’ blood pressure, with similar effects regardless of the type of noise, where the ‘loudness’ of the noise was the same.
The research follows recent findings by the same researchers, showing that people who have been living for at least five years near an international airport, under a flight path, have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure than a population living in quieter areas. That study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that an increase in night-time aeroplane noise of 10dB increased the risk of high blood pressure by 14 per cent in both men and women.
Dr Lars Jarup, one of the authors of the study from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College London, said: “We know that noise from air traffic can be a source of irritation, but our research shows that it can also be damaging for people’s health, which is particularly significant in light of plans to expand international airports. Our studies show that night-time aircraft noise can affect your blood pressure instantly and increase the risk of hypertension.
It is clear to me that measures need to be taken to reduce noise levels from aircraft, in particular during night-time, in order to protect the health of people living near airports.”
The researchers are continuing their analyses to find out whether combined exposure to noise and air pollution increases the risk of heart disease.
Laura Gallagher | alfa
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy