Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Air traffic can cause strokes and heart disease, study finds

Geza Benke 125Living close to a flight path may have serious health effects, including stroke and heart disease, a London study has suggested.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Geza Benke of the Monash Centre for Occupational Health (MonCOEH) said that noise from overhead air traffic can increase stress and cause high blood pressure.

“We also know that cardiovascular risk is increased in people exposed to traffic noise,'' he said.

The study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, found that those living under flight paths that were heavily exposed to noise were up to 24 per cent more likely to be admitted to hospital from a stroke than people living in the quietest areas.

However, it did not adjust for factors such as the socio-economic level of the areas around flight paths in London.

Dr Benke pointed out that living conditions around airports in Australia are different to England, and that we should be cautious in assuming similar results would occur here.

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