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
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering