Furthest Right

City Noise is Bad For Your Health

People living in residential areas with high levels of noise from road traffic appear to suffer more heart attacks than people living in quieter neighborhoods, according to a new study by researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Goran Pershagen, who led the study, said 1571 people from the Stockholm area who had suffered heart attacks between 1992 and 1994 were compared with a control group from the same area. The addresses of all the individuals were indentified and the level of noise estimated.

Exposure to air pollution and other heart attack risk factors were also gathered using questionnaires and interviews, the researchers said. Once people with impaired hearing or exposure to other sources of noise had been eliminated from the study, the researchers found that there was a 40 percent higher risk of a heart attack in people exposed to traffic noise exceeding 50 decibels — a relatively quiet level of noise; heavy traffic is usually measured at between 80 and 90 decibels.


Our environment is chosen for convenience — all the workers and consumers there, crammed into a place, and convinced it’s good for them because of social factors — not health.

All these things we ignore in our quest for well-valued dwellings come back to visit us, and we stumble on, drunk men in a bleary morning.

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