Anything good about aviation in the news these days? Study Says Living Under Flight Path Could be Bad For your Heart Health

October 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

(Source: The Telegraph, UK)

Living under a flight path with noisy planes whizzing over your head could jeopardize your heart health, according to a new study from Switzerland.

Researchers found that dying from a heart attack was more common among people with increased exposure to aircraft noise.

The group of experts, led by Dr. Matthias Egger from Univ. of Bern (Switzerland) identified 15,532 heart attack deaths among 4.6 million Swiss residents between late 2000 and the end of 2005 using detailed information from an ongoing mortality study called the Swiss National Cohort.

Some of the study results include:

  • People exposed to a daily average of at least 60 decibels of noise had a 30 per cent greater risk of dying from a heart attack compared with those exposed to less than 45 decibels, the researchers report in the journal Epidemiology.
  • Among those exposed to the higher decibel levels for 15 or more years, the risk was actually 50 per cent higher.
  • The average of 60 decibels is about what you would expect in a crowded, noisy bar.

Living within 300ft of a major road also increased the risk of heart attack but the researchers found no impact of particulate-matter air pollution on the heart.  Mr Egger said road and air traffic produce different noise patterns that might not be easily comparable as road traffic noise was more constant and arguably easier to get used to.

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Transportgooru Musings:  This makes rail travel to/near urban hubs (relatively) more appealing over aviation.  Propulsion systems technology in the commercial aviation sector is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels and conventional engines.  On the other hand, many new train sets in today’s rail market are amazingly quiet and smooth. This could be a good marketing point for many pro-rail advocates and politicians lobbying for big investments in High-speed rail  connecting the big cities.

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