Healthy Living: Road noise and heart attacks
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Dr. Tim Malins, M.D., of Rochester General Hospital said, "The larger amount of noise that a population had experienced caused a 12-percent rise in heart attacks."
We all need our beauty sleep. But if you're living next to a busy road or highway, you're probably not sleeping too well.
Dr. Malins said, "It destructs sleep patterns. That's something that's essential for our bodies."
Cardiologist Dr. Tim Malins broke down for us a just-released study out of Denmark. Researchers there analyzed urban populations and discovered that people who lived near busy highways or railroad tracks suffered 12-percent more heart attacks than the average population.
Dr. Malins said, "When you're talking about a population basis, even two percent is a lot. A 12-percent increase in heart attacks is very significant for us."
"The reason for all those heart attacks is stress. Living near constant stressors, like traffic noise, increases levels of the hormone cortisol in our bodies. That gives us extra energy. But when we don't spend the energy constructively, we tend to do bad things with it instead."
Dr. Malins said, "If you wake up in the middle of the night because you can't sleep, what happens? Well, you're going to pick up a cigarette if you're a smoker. You're going to snack. And so you see all of these things that kind of avalanche on one another, and the endpoint in this study ended up being heart attack."
For those who live in noisy neighborhoods, you probably can't just pull up your roots and move to the quiet countryside tomorrow.
Dr. Malins said, "But what we can do is we can treat the downstream effects of this: treat the blood pressure, treat the cholesterol, increase exercise and work with smoking cessation."
Talk with your personal physician for more ideas.