Exposure to traffic noise is significantly associated with heart attacks, according to research published June 20 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
Previous work had investigated that combined effects of both noise and air pollution caused by traffic, but the results were inconsistent. The new study, led by Mette Sorensen on the Danish Cancer Society, showed a clear relationship between traffic noise and heart attack, with a 12% higher risk per 10 decibels of noise, based on 50,614 study participants. The exact reason for this relationship is not yet known, but may be due to increased stress and sleep disturbances associated with high traffic noise.
Citation: Sørensen M, Andersen ZJ, Nordsborg RB, Jensen SS, Lillelund KG, et al. (2012) Road Traffic Noise and Incident Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39283. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039283
Financial Disclosure: This work was supported by funding from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the Research Centre for Environmental Health, Danish Ministry of the Interior and Health, and the Danish Cancer Society. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency participated in collecting information on railway and airport noise. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: KL from Rambøll A/S was responsible for road traffic noise assesment. Rambøll A/S is a consultant Agency that has specialised in e.g. acoustic measurements and modelling. KL and Rambøll was selected in a 'call for tenders' where 4 different companies were asked to participate. KL and Rambøll has delivered all data material to the author group. Therefore, including KL from Rambøll in this paper this does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
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