Transportation Noise May Be Hazardous To Your Health

(CBS) – The loud noise of L trains passing every seven minutes used to be a problem for Lyon & Healy Harps, until they installed double-pained windows to block it out.

But from cars rumbling down highways to piercing jets taking off, cardiologists now warn traffic noise is impacting our cardiovascular system and may increase the risk of heart disease.

Apparently noise induces a stress response that aggravates the sympathetic nervous system, bumping up the production of certain hormones and that leads to vascular damage.

“That really can create high blood pressure, and once that starts to happen you get an increase in strokes and heart attacks and heart failure,” says Dr. Kim Williams of Rush University Medical Center, who has trains rattling outside his window, too.

He’s not bothered by the sound.

“After awhile you don’t hear it,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean that my blood vessels aren’t hearing it.”

Homes near airports are often sound-proofed, and workers wear protective gear, but this scientific review by the American College of Cardiology warns the general public needs to listen more carefully to the impact of transportation noise.


This site uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognize visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and — depending on your settings and privacy choices — enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

By continuing to use our site or clicking Agree, you agree that CBS and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalized ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy. You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings.