Traffic Noise Tied to Increased Stroke Risk in Elderly

Long-term exposure to road traffic noise increases risk of stroke in people over 64.5 years

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to residential road traffic noise is associated with an increased risk of stroke in people older than 64.5 years of age, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the European Heart Journal.

Mette Sørensen, Ph.D., from the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, and colleagues examined data from a population cohort of 57,053 people and their exposure to road traffic noise and air pollution between 1993 and 2006. Association between exposure to road traffic noise and incidence of stroke was measured.

The investigators identified 1,881 cases of first-ever stroke in the cohort. The incidence rate ratio was 1.14 for stroke per 10 decibel higher level of road traffic noise after adjustment for confounding factors. There was a significant interaction of stroke incidence with age; a strong association was seen between road traffic noise and stroke in the population over 64.5 years of age, but no association was found in people younger than 64.5 years.

"The present study shows a positive association between residential exposure to road traffic noise and risk for stroke in a general Danish population among people older than 64.5 years of age. As this is the first study of its kind, the results need to be confirmed by other studies before any conclusions can be drawn," the authors write.

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