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October 06, 2010

Loud Noises Can Cause Heart Problems (Not Just Hearing Loss)!

According to a new study, people who work in noisy places for at least a year and a half could have triple the risk of a serious heart problem including a heart attack and severe chest pain compared to those who work in quiet environments. Of course, we all know such loud environment can also cause hearing loss.

6,000 people who were at least 20 years old and employed were surveyed from 1999 to 2004. Other heart risk factors including elevated Body Mass Index and smoking were statistically adjusted for.

Noisy occupations include not only welders, garage mechanics and forklift operators, but also dentists, construction workers, nursery school teachers and classical musicians.

Why would loud noises cause heart problems? It is felt that noisy environments typically are more stressful leading to higher levels of stress hormones which can contribute to heart problems. Still... quitting smoking and losing weight are more important to your heart health than avoiding noisy environments.

Read the research here.

Read a MSNBC article about this research here.

Reference:
Exposure to occupational noise and cardiovascular disease in the United States: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004. Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oem.2010.055269

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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