Listening to the latest Eminem banger at full volume may cure your frustration from a day in the office, but it could be seriously affecting your health.
According to new research, an increasing level of noise is directly correlated to an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, otherwise known as an abnormal heart rhythm. Scientists from the Department of Cardiology at the Mainz University Medical Center suggest that the occurrence of atrial fibrillation increased to 23 per cent of the population when exposed to significant noise disturbance.
The study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology this week, identified aircraft noise as the greatest source of noise pollution, both during the day and at night.
“We have already been able to prove the connection between noise and vascular disease in several studies in healthy volunteers and patients with established coronary artery disease as well as in in preclinical studies,” said Professor Thomas Münzel, senior author of the study. “To date, there has been no explicit study being published which addresses to what extent noise annoyance can cause cardiac arrhythmia.”
Results showed that noise annoyance at night had the strongest influence on the heart rhythm, most notably when subjects were sleeping.
“The relationship between noise annoyance and atrial fibrillation is an important finding that may also explain why noise can lead to more strokes. However, one must not forget that noise also leads to damage to health without the need for an anger reaction,” said Professor Münzel.
Other sources of noise pollution that affected the study group were from general traffic, train operation, construction, trade and neighbourhood noise.