When it comes to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart-related issues and problems, the majority of people assume that doctors and health professionals will always look for the conventional factors and risks.
However, there is a growing body of evidence that there are many other causes of heart diseases that you might find surprising. Studies have suggested that environmental factors too, have a role in the development of heart conditions.
One of such environmental impacts is traffic. Yes, you read that right. Traffic and the noise emitted from the jams daily has been linked to coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure and stroke.
People who live in metropolitan cities might already be aware of how traffic may disturb the everyday routine. A person might not even be able to sleep well because of the noises from traffic at night.
Serious heart conditions are the number one cause of death for both women and men in the United States. Around 610,000 cases of death are due to heart diseases. This means every 1 in 4 deaths is because of cardiovascular issues.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease is the most common heart disease among all others and is responsible for around 370,000 deaths annually in the United States.
There are a number of studies conducted previously that have connected the noise of traffic to heart disease although they have not provided the mechanism for the progression of noise-induced heart diseases.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology has recently taken the matter into account and published a review that explores possible mechanisms through which noise from traffic may lead to heart disease.
To know more about how noise may contribute to the development of heart disease, researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Medical Center Mainz of Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany have reviewed the data from previous scientific studies.
The researchers looked at the evidence given in studies carried out on the topic to see how non-auditory effects of the noise from traffic may affect a person’s cardiovascular health.
In addition, the researchers also assessed and reviewed available research on the impact of noise on the nervous system along with studies focused on the different effects of noise on humans and animals.
By comparing the results and conclusions of different studies, Thomas Munzel – the lead author and colleagues suggested the mechanism could be explained by citing noise as a stress response on the nervous system that is triggered by the noise.
The stress response may also lead to a hormonal chaos which can damage the blood vessel considerably. Secondly, the authors also linked noise to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is the imbalance of the production of free radicals in the body when the body is not able to combat their effects. The noise was also connected to blood vessel problems, metabolism, and nervous system complications.
After looking at these associations and recent evidence, the researchers concluded that noise from not only traffic but from aircraft and other sources may contribute to major risk factors for the heart complications such as hypertension and diabetes.
What can be done to avoid noises? According to the researchers included in the study, new advancements and changes such as air traffic curfews and low-noise tires can significantly reduce the noises.
It is also important to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of a heart disease since the chances of survival are higher if the treatment begins as early as possible.
The most common conventional factors that put a person at a higher risk of having a heart disease are smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
There are also some other factors such as excessive alcohol use, poor diet, and lack of exercise that can lead to the development of serious heart issues.