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Excess noise may increase heart disease, stroke risk: Study

Press Trust of India  |  Boston 

to excess noise may increase the risk of and by activating a brain region involved in response, a study warns.

This response in turn promotes blood vessel inflammation, said researchers at in the US.

The findings reveal that people with the highest levels of -- such as highway and airport noise -- had an increased risk of suffering cardiovascular events such as and strokes, regardless of other risk factors.

The study offers much-needed insight into the biological mechanisms of the well-known, but poorly understood, interplay between and chronic noise exposure, researchers said.

"A growing body of research reveals an association between ambient noise and cardiovascular disease, but the physiological mechanisms behind it have remained unclear," said Azar Radfar, a research fellow at the in

"We believe our findings offer an important insight into the biology behind this phenomenon," Radfar said.

Researchers analysed the association between noise exposure and major cardiovascular events, such as and

They analysed the realtion among 499 people (average age 56 years), who had simultaneous PET and CT scan of their brains and blood vessels.

Diagnostic validation was done in a subset of 281 subjects.

All participants were free of and at the start of the study.

Using those images, the scientists assessed the activity of the amygdala -- an area of the brain involved in regulation and emotional responses, among other functions.

To capture cardiovascular risk, the researchers examined the participants' medical records following the initial studies.

Of the 499 participants, 40 experienced a cardiovascular event (eg or stroke) in the five years following the initial testing.

To gauge noise exposure, the researchers used participants' home addresses and derived noise level estimates from the

People with the highest levels of noise exposure had higher levels of amygdalar activity and more in their arteries, researchers said.

These people also had a greater than three-fold risk of suffering a or a and other major cardiovascular events, compared with people who had lower levels of noise exposure, researchers said.

That risk remained elevated even after the they accounted for other cardiovascular and environmental risk factors, including air pollution, high cholesterol, smoking and

Additional analysis revealed that high levels of amygdalar activity appears to unleash a pathway that fuels cardiac risk by driving blood vessel inflammation, a well-known risk factor for

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 16:25 IST