Transportation noise is associated with an increased risk of mortality from heart attack, suggests a new study.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, further demonstrates that studies investigating the effect of air pollution without significantly considering the impact of transportation noise on health might overestimate the cardiovascular disease burden of air pollution.
Martin Röösli, Head of the Environmental Exposures and Health Unit at Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and colleagues conducted this systematic analysis to disentangle the risk of the three major transportation noise sources—road, railway, and aircraft traffic—and the air pollutants NO2 and PM2.5 on myocardial infarction (MI) mortality in Switzerland based on high quality/fine resolution exposure modeling.
The study looked at the combined effects of air pollution and transportation noise for heart attack mortality, by considering all deaths that occurred in Switzerland between 2000 and 2008.
The study included all deaths (19,261) reported across Switzerland from the period 2000 to 2008. The air pollution (PM2.5) was modeled using satellite and geographic data, calibrated with air pollution measurements from 99 measurement sites throughout Switzerland. Nitrogen dioxides (NO2) were also modeled using 9,469 biweekly passive sampling measurements collected between 2000 and 2008 at 1,834 locations in Switzerland. Transportation noise was modeled by well-established noise propagation models (sonRoad, sonRAIL and FLULA 2) by Empa and n-sphere. The air pollution and the transportation noise models were applied for each address of the 4.4 million Swiss adult citizen (aged 30 years and above).
- Analyses that only included fine particulates (PM2.5) suggest that the risk for a heart attack rises by 5.2% per 10 μg/m³ increase in the long-term concentration at home.
- Studies which also account for road, railway and aircraft noise reveal that the risk for a heart attack attributable to fine particulates, in fact, increases considerably less; 1.9% per 10 μg/m³ increase. These findings indicate that the negative effects of air pollution may have been overestimated in studies which fail to concurrently consider noise exposure.
- transportation noise increases the risk for a heart attack by 2.0 to 3.4% per 10 decibels increase in the average sound pressure level at home.
- people exposed to both air pollution and noise are at the highest risk of heart attack. Hence, the effects of air pollution and noise are additive.
“Public discussions often focus on the negative health effects of either air pollution or noise but do not consider the combined impact,” said Röösli. “Our research suggests that both exposures must be considered at the same time.” This has implications for both policy as well as future research. Hence, Röösli and co-researchers recommend including transportation noise exposure in any further research related to air pollution and health to avoid overestimating the negative effects of air pollution on the cardiovascular system.
For further reference follow the link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy650