Airport noise may be linked to heart problems: study

Boston – Exposure to aircraft noise from nearby airports may impact the heart health of older people, concludes a new study from Harvard University.

Researchers used data from the Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Census and Medicare to analyze hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease among adults 65 or older near 89 airports. Older people regularly exposed to aircraft noise that was 10 decibels higher than average were found to have 3.5 percent higher rate of hospitalization for cardiovascular problems, according to the study.

As for why, researchers noted other studies suggest loud noise from planes may cause increases in stress and blood pressure, which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Recommendations given in the study to help reduce noise exposure include soundproofing homes near airports and minimizing use of runways near residences when people are sleeping.

The study was published online Oct. 8 in BMJ.