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Echo Barrier Blog

Fight or flight – how noise makes our hearts race

Posted by Tom Peary on May 24, 2014 10:40:00 AM | Acoustic Barriers|Construction Related|Noise Reduc

We all know that living under a flight-path, near train lines or next to busy roads can have a negative impact on our health.

But aside from pollution and sleep disturbance, there is now a direct correlation between high levels of noise and heart disease thanks to new research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This is not the first study to identify this correlation, however not much is known about exactly how noise can cause heart disease.
Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany have analysed the findings from multiple studies and concluded that noise disrupts the body on a cellular level which can lead to a multitude of health problems, including an increased risk of developing cardiovascular damage.

Fight or flight This new evidence demonstrates the way noise disrupts the body and induces a ‘fight or flight’ response which causes spikes in stress hormones. Over time, if this occurs regularly, this can lead to cardiovascular problems. It also appears that exposure to excessive noise can also act as a knock-on effect to other serious conditions such as diabetes.
This is down to noise causing metabolic abnormalities and oxidative stress. Other studies have also outlined issues around night-time noise disruption, linking exposure to consistent noise overnight to increased blood pressure. Where this study specifically looks at the links to heart health, other notable papers have discussed how noise can be a factor in depression, anxiety and even impair cognitive development in children.

Good news It’s not all doom and gloom, the study did find that current traffic management systems, air traffic curfews and low noise tyres for cars have gone some way to help reduce hazardous levels of noise in some areas.

What can we do to help? At Echo Barrier, we understand the detrimental effect that noise can have on people’s health. That’s why we have developed our market leading products to help reduce noise and protect your health. From providing acoustic barriers for music festivals to Genset acoustic enclosures for generators on construction sites, we have the expertise and products available to help with your acoustic needs in any situation.

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