Posted on Feb 14, 2011, 6 a.m.
Denmark team reports that for every 10 decibels more road traffic noise to which a person is exposed, the risk of having a stroke increases by 14%.
In that previous studies have suggested that long-term exposure to road traffic noise increases the risk of cardiovascular disorders, Mette Sorensen, from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society (Denmark), and colleagues explored the causal link between road traffic noise and risk for stroke. The team utilized data collected on 57,053 Danish men and women, ages 50 to 64 years, enrolled in a four-year period in the Diet, Cancer, and Health study. Subjects were followed for an average of 1-0 years. Mapping the residential locations of the subjects and proximity to roadways, the team calculated the road traffic noise levels to which each was exposed. After adjusting for confounding factors, the team found that for every 10 decibels (dB) more road traffic noise, the risk of having a stroke increased by 14%. Among people aged less than 65 years, the researchers observed no statistically significant increased risk of stroke – but their risks increased by 27% for every 10dB of higher road traffic noise. Finding indications of a threshold limit at approximately 60 dB, above which the risk for stroke seemed to increase even more, the team concludes that: “Exposure to residential road traffic noise was associated with a higher risk for stroke among people older than 64.5 years of age.”
Mette Sorensen, Martin Hvidberg, Zorana J. Andersen, Rikke B. Nordsborg, Kenneth G. Lillelund, Jørgen Jakobsen, Anne Tjonneland, Kim Overvad, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen. “Road traffic noise and stroke: a prospective cohort study.” Eur Heart J., January 25, 2011; doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehq466.