Airport Noise Increases Risk of Heart Disease, New Study Shows

A new study recently published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine found that people living under flight routes and close to airports are at an increased risk of hypertension. Specifically, the study concluded that “long-term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, is associated with incident hypertension and possibly, also, cardiovascular effects.

This latest study showing connections between aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease was headed by Dr. Kostantina Dimakopoulou of University of Athens’ School of Medicine. This study followed-up with 420 individuals who lived near the Athens International Airport in Greece and had participated in 2013 cross-sectional multicountry HYENA study. These people were exposed to up 600 aircraft operations every day. The study found that exposure to aircraft noise, particularly at night, was associated with high blood pressure. With every additional 10 dB of night-time aircraft noise, the study showed that there was a 69% heightened risk of high blood pressure.

This study can be added to the growing number of public health studies showing the health risks that people face from noise from aircraft flying overhead. Aircraft noise is a public health issue that needs to be treated as a public health issue, instead of an annoyance that people need to “get over” in the name of economic development.


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