Environmental noise, especially from road traffic, increases the risk of ischaemic heart disease, primarily myocardial infarction. In addition, it might elevate the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. There is also suggestive evidence that road traffic noise increases the risk of diabetes and obesity. Both the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of noise may be mediated by stress-related mechanisms and sleep disturbance, possibly affecting the hormone balance.
These are the main conclusions of an evidence review of the literature dealing with studies on the impact of noise exposure on the cardiovascular and metabolic system. To this end, we evaluated the results and quality of 61 epidemiological studies. Not all studies were of good quality. Best substantiated are the effects of road traffic noise on ischaemic heart disease. The greatest number of studies concerned traffic noise and hypertension, but most were cross-sectional and of low quality.
The results of this review form input for the new environmental noise guidelines for the European Region, prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Home/Documents and publications/2017/November/Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of environmental noise : Systematic evidence review in the framework of the development of the WHO environmental noise guidelines for the European Region