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Traffic noise increases stroke risk

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Noise pollution, such as sirens and honking horns, usually makes people more alert, and now a new Danish study has found that the anxiety caused by traffic noise can increase the risk of stroke.

Dr Mette Sorensen, from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, led the study that found that for every 10-decibel increase in the traffic noise level near a person's residential addresses the risk of stroke increased by 14 percent, MyHealthNewsDaily reported.

For people older than 65 the risk was significantly higher at 27 percent. Out of the 51,000 people observed, 1881 suffered a stroke and approximately 35 percent of the study participants were exposed to traffic noise above 35 decibels. The study examined people's medical history as well as their home's exposure to traffic noise.

While the study published in the European Heart Journal did not conclude there was a causal link between traffic and heart conditions, merely an association, Dr Mette Sorensen said noise pollution can increase blood pressure, heighten stress levels and lead to sleep disturbances, which can increase the risk of a stroke.

A countryside move for fresh air and chirping birds may just be the doctor's orders.

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