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Road Noise Can Increase the Risk of Hypertension: What Does New Study Say

Those with exposure to road traffic noise, as well as air pollution, showed the highest risk of hypertension.

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A new study by the American College of Cardiology points to how people can develop hypertension as a result of exposure to road traffic noise.

The big point: Researchers found that there is an elevated risk of developing hypertension with increased exposure to road traffic noise and that this risk can increase with an increase in the “dose” of noise present in the surroundings. These findings were found to be applicable even after the levels of fine particles and nitrogen dioxide present in the surroundings were adjusted.

But.. That's not all...They also found that those with significant exposure to road traffic noise, as well as air pollution, showed the highest risk of hypertension, thereby suggesting the possible role of air pollution as a contributor. 

“We were a little surprised that the association between road traffic noise and hypertension was robust even after adjustment for air pollution."
Jing Huang, Lead Author
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Further, he said, “It is essential to explore the independent effects of road traffic noise, rather than the total environment.”

How was it done: Researchers at the American College of Cardiology, US conducted a prospective study using data from UK Biobank of more than 240,000 people between the ages of 40 to 69 years, who lacked hypertension at baseline.

Over a median period of 8.1 years, scientists measured data relating to the number of people that developed hypertension. Estimations regarding road traffic noise were made based on residential areas along with a European modelling tool termed Common Noise Assessment Method.

What was said: The authors of the study spoke about policymaking and suggested means through which relief from road traffic noise can be achieved, such as, stricter noise guidelines and enforcement, improving road conditions and urban design, and expending advanced technology for quieter vehicles.

Currently, several studies are underway to understand the pathophysiological relation between road traffic noise and the consequent development hypertension as a result of exposure to the same.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Hypertension 

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