Health Study: Aircraft Noise And Blood Pressure

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"Nighttime aircraft noise can affect your blood pressure instantly and increase the risk of hypertension," according to Dr. Lars Jarup of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College, London. ...And so can sleeping next to someone who snores, according to a study co-authored by Jarup and published in the February issue of the European Heart Journal. Researchers remotely measured the blood pressure of 140 volunteers and analyzed the noise level in each person's bedroom. The sample included people living near London's Heathrow, and airports in Athens, Milan and Stockholm. Noticeable increases in blood pressure were correlated with increases in noise levels reaching more than 35 decibels -- which can be similar to the amount of noise generated by snoring or nearby automobile traffic. The level of noise, according to researchers, was the key factor. The type of noise was not. Similar increases in blood pressure have been reported in other environmental noise studies. The study found that systolic blood pressure increased by 0.66 mmHg per 5 decibels of noise and increases were apparent even when individuals remained asleep.