Aircraft noise pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases
In recent years, scientific studies have repeatedly shown a connection between aircraft noise and illnesses. In a new study, researchers have now found further explanations for why aircraft noise leads to more cardiovascular diseases in the long term.
Aircraft noise makes you sick
Those who live near an airport often have to deal with heavy noise pollution. The noise can quickly become a health risk factor. Scientific studies have shown that aircraft noise increases the risk of depression. The noise also promotes strokes and heart problems. In a new study, scientists have now succeeded in deciphering mechanisms that are responsible for vascular damage due to aircraft noise.
Stress hormone is increased and sleep quality is reduced
Aircraft noise leads in the long term to an increased formation of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
As the University Medical Center Mainz reports in a communication, a working group led by Professor Münzel was able to prove in 2013 that simulated night aircraft noise increases the stress hormone adrenaline, reduces sleep quality and triggers vascular damage, called endothelial dysfunction.
However, the molecular mechanisms of this vascular damage have so far been unknown. However, the scientists were now able to determine measurably that aircraft noise leads to a significant increase in stress hormones, a vascular dysfunction, increased oxidative stress in the vessels and a significant change in the expression of genes in the vessel wall.
They also deciphered the enzymes responsible for vascular damage. According to the researchers, the results of this study make it possible for the first time to develop specific strategies that mitigate the negative consequences for vessels caused by noise.
They described the results, which were published in the European Heart Journal, as a breakthrough in (flight) noise research.
Hypersensitivity to vasoconstricting substances
To arrive at their results, the scientists tested the effects of two different noise scenarios on the vessels in an animal model. In one noise scenario, mice were exposed to aircraft noise for four days, in the other to ambient noise ("white noise") for four days.
The experts found that aircraft noise triggers endothelial dysfunction within a day, causes hypersensitivity to vasoconstricting substances and causes stress hormone levels to rise significantly. Among other things, this leads to high blood pressure.
The primary reason for this was an increased formation of free radicals as a result of aircraft noise. Interestingly, equal noise levels with ambient noise had no negative consequences for the vessels within four days.
Study authors speak of a breakthrough in noise research
According to the study authors, the results represent a breakthrough in noise research: "Since traditional risk factors use the same mechanisms to cause vascular dysfunction, one must expect that noise will increase the effects of cardiovascular risk factors and thus stimulate the process of vascular calcification."
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Münzel said: “For the first time, it will now be possible to test the extent to which cardiovascular drugs can prevent aircraft noise-induced damage to vessels. In addition, we will also study the effects of road and rail noise in the near future. ”(Ad)