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Why living near airports can be deadly for hearts

Washington, Oct. 9 : A new study has suggested that areas that have high levels of aircraft noise are likelier to have higher risk of hospital admissions and deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease.


Researchers at Imperial College London and King's College London compared data on day- and night-time aircraft noise with hospital admissions and mortality rates among a population of 3.6 million people living near Heathrow airport.

The risks were around 10 to 20 per cent higher in areas with highest levels of aircraft noise compared with the areas with least noise.

The new findings raise the possibility that aircraft noise may be a contributing factor to these conditions, but the researchers say more work is needed to establish the exact relationship between noise and ill health.

Lead author Dr Anna Hansell, from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said that these findings suggest a possible link between high levels of aircraft noise and risk of heart disease and stroke.

The study covered 12 London boroughs and nine districts outside of London where aircraft noise exceeds 50 decibels - about the volume of a normal conversation in a quiet room.

The whole study area was divided into 12,110 small areas, each with a population of around 300. For each small area, the researchers looked at noise levels from 2001, provided by the Civil Aviation Authority, and hospital admissions and deaths from 2001-2005.

The findings have been published in the British Medical Journal.

--ANI (Posted on 09-10-2013)

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