The noise of aircraft would promote the risk of high blood pressure among men living near an airport, but not among women, according to a new study published Tuesday in France.
The results of the study confirm those of previous studies highlighting the association between aircraft noise and risk of high blood pressure in men, especially at night, write the authors in the latest Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin (BEH ) published by the health agency.
Hypertension “being an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease, this association supports the hypothesis that aircraft noise is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” add the authors, Marie Lefèvre (Claude-Bernard University of Lyon / Umrestte / Ifsttar) and her colleagues.
Blood pressure was measured in 1,244 residents who live near the Paris-Roissy, Lyon-Saint-Exupéry and Toulouse-Blagnac airports.
Information on potential risk factors for hypertension was collected, either through face-to-face questions by an investigator or through objective measurements by this investigator.
“A significant increase in the risk of hypertension is observed in men (…) but not in women”, when the noise of aircraft increases by 10 decibels during the night.
The decibel A or db A is a unit of measurement that takes into account the so-called A-weighting of the relative loudness perceived by the human ear.
This increased risk of hypertension in men may be a consequence of sleep disturbances, which disrupt cardiovascular function.
“Observational and experimental studies have shown that nighttime noise exposure alters the structure of sleep and causes an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone levels, and oxidative stress, all of which could promote hypertension, according to the researchers.