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How traffic noise may contribute to heart disease

Researchers have uncovered the mechanism underlying the role of traffic and other environmental noise in the development of heart disease.

The idea that heart disease may be caused by traffic noise could strike you as unlikely at first.

But growing evidence is linking environmental noise to the development of heart conditions including arterial hypertension, stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease.

Although healthcare providers will focus on traditional risk factors when they diagnose, prevent, and treat heart disease, ever more evidence is supporting the notion that risk factors in the physical environment may contribute to heart disease, as well.

Several studies have demonstrated an association between an increased risk of heart disease and traffic noise. However, these studies have previously been unable to pinpoint the mechanisms that may be active in noise-induced heart disease.

Now, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has published a review investigating the potential mechanisms by which environmental noise may contribute to heart disease.

What mechanism drives the association?

To understand what mechanism may drive the association between environmental noise and heart disease, researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at University Medical Center Mainz of Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany have conducted a review of the available scientific literature.

They assessed recent evidence of the link between heart disease and environmental noise and reviewed studies that investigated how the nonauditory effects of noise might impact the cardiovascular system.

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