Noise throws the heart out of rhythm, a new scientific survey has found

Noise throws the heart out of rhythm, a new scientific survey has found

Atrial fibrillation is on the rise.

This heart rhythm disorder causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat and a health study by experts from the Department of Cardiology at the Mainz University Medical Center have found that people subjected to extreme noise annoyance are 23% more likely to experience it compared to just 15% without this environmental impact.

 

Cause for complaint

Noise pollution either interferes with normal activities such as sleeping, conversation or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life.

Exhaustion and symptoms of stress due to noise can permanently impair wellbeing and health.

Professor Thomas Münzel, director of cardiology at the Department of Cardiology and senior author of the health study said in extreme cases it can also cause life-threatening illnesses.

“We have already been able to prove the connection between noise and vascular disease in several studies in healthy volunteers and patients with established coronary artery disease as well as in in preclinical studies,” he said. “To date, there has been no explicit study being published which addresses to what extent noise annoyance can cause cardiac arrhythmia.”

Noise nuisance is usually used to describe an activity or condition that is harmful or annoying to others. This could include building and construction site noise, parties or open-air events with loud music, industrial processes or airplane noise.

According to the health study, the worst cause of extreme noise pollution was caused by aircraft.

Participants were asked to rate how much they had been harassed in recent years by road, rail, construction, trade, neighborhood noise and aircraft noise, both day and night.

Around 60% complained about noise from aircraft.

 

Striking a balance

The problem of noise should not be under-estimated.

And researchers have known for years that noise from airports is particularly dangerous to health.

On a 1997 questionnaire distributed to two groups – one living near a major airport, and the other in a quiet neighborhood – two-thirds of those living near the airport indicated they were bothered by aircraft noise, and most said that it interfered with their daily activities.

The same two-thirds complained more than the other group of sleep difficulties, and also perceived themselves as being in poorer health.

Although improving runways, expanding airports and introducing more flights improves our gateway to tourism, residents need to be protected from the noise from aircraft taking off and landing day and night.

And from the extensive building work which goes hand-in-hand with any development of airport infrastructure.

 

How we can help

Our noise reduction barriers can reduce noise pollution from a building site by up to 97%.

And with the right products in the right place, this means the site can operate day and night to get the job done quicker and with minimal disruption.