A new study
shows that while being stuck in traffic is mainly annoying, it is also detrimental to our health. With the loud honking and people shouting, add it up with the toxic chemicals cars are dispensing, exposure to traffic can lead to a higher risk of heart disease.
There are actually plenty of studies that showed how air pollution can lead to heart disease, asthma, stroke, and possible death. Additionally, noise pollution were known to lead to disturbed sleep, increased stress hormones and increased blood pressure. However, there has been little research that tackles these two pollution together and their effect on our health.
Hence, a new study focused on these particular type of pollutions. Data of 144,000 adults from Netherlands and Norway were analyzed; their noise and air pollution exposure as well as their blood biological markers were compared. Specifically, they've studied participants' C-reactive protein or CRP, lipids and triglycerides, and blood sugar levels as these could indicate cardiovascular problems.
They found that an increase of 10 µg/m3 of air pollution was linked to 2.6% increase in CRP levels, 10% increase in triglycerides and 2.3% higher blood sugar levels. An increase of just five decibels in normal noise levels was also linked to a 0.3% increase of blood sugar levels. This shows that air and noise pollution indeed have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Moreover, researchers suspected that traffic noise could also cause long-term psychological stress as it leads to one's production of stress hormones and lack of sleep.
With this, perhaps choosing a quieter neighborhood could be of help. Also, you might want to consider using a bike once in a while especially when you're not in a hurry or just doing your daily errands. Not only is it going to help reduce our carbon footprints but can also help make the world less noisy (not to mention stops you from being sedentary).