If your neighborhood isn’t exactly peaceful, you may want to think about switching zip codes. According to a new study published in the journal PLoS One, people who live in places with a lot of traffic noise are at a higher risk for getting a heart attack.
Researchers recruited over 50,000 men and women aged 50 to 64 who live in Copenhagen and Aarhus—Denmark’s two largest cities—and followed them over a 10-year period. They took note of the participants’ location and matched it along with their health. During the study, 1,600 of the participants suffered their first hard attack. From the analysis, it appears that the closer to traffic noise the participants were, the higher their risk. The risk level starts to increase at 40 decibels and for every 10 percent increase in noise, there is a corresponding 12 percent jump in heart attack risk as well.
What exactly triggers these attacks? According to the researchers, stress could very well be one of them. After all, how can you relax when there’s too much noise pollution? Another factor that may cause an episode is lack of sleep. Living too close to a busy road may keep you awake when you should be getting your rest. Also, air pollution isn’t far off from making your health worse either.
Not everyone has the fortune of choosing where to live, especially since finding affordable housing is already a challenge in itself. Still, there are certain ways to get around the noise problem. For example, instead of sleeping in the room closest to where the noise is, build your bedroom at the back. More importantly, make sure you get enough rest everyday. Always set aside time for relaxation, so you wouldn't get affected much by stress.
(Photo by Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr Creative Commons)