Another study, this one from Switzerland, shows exposure to aircraft noise during sleep can trigger heart attacks
A study carried out by Swiss researchers looked at 24,886 deaths from cardiovascular disease from 2000–2015, in people living near Zurich Airport. They looked at the deaths in relation to night-time aircraft noise exposure. They found that those exposed to 40–50 decibels noise had a significantly higher risk (about 33%) of heart attacks in the few hours after the noise. The risk was higher for noise above 55 decibels – about 44%. For those susceptible, the effect of planes passing overhead can lead to death within 2 hours of the noise. The Zurich study found aircraft noise contributed to about 800 out of 25,000 cardiovascular deaths that occurred between 2000 and 2015 in the vicinity of Zurich airport, which was 3%. The study used a so-called ‘case-crossover’ model to determine whether the subject’s noise exposure around their time of death was unusually high in comparison to sounds levels they experienced at other, randomly-selected times. Previous research for the European Environment Agency estimated that noise exposure road, rail, aircraft, industry) causes 12,000 premature deaths and contributes to 48,000 new cases of ischemic heart disease per year across Europe.
Sound of an aeroplane flying overhead at night could be last thing you hear as study finds the noise can trigger a heart attack within two hours
By Ian Randall (For Mailonline)
22 Dec 2020
- Experts studied 24,886 deaths from cardiovascular disease from 2000–2015
- All the cases the team considered were located in the vicinity of Zurich Airport
- They analysed the deaths in comparison with night-time aircraft noise pollution
- Those exposed to 40–50 decibels noise had a third higher risk of heart failure
Living under a busy flight path could have drawbacks beyond lowering your property value — it could increase your risk of dying from a heart attack, experts have warned.
Researchers from Switzerland analysed thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease in the area around Zurich airport from 2000–2015.
They found people exposed to night-time noises in the order of 40–50 decibels — similar to the thrum of a fridge — were a third more likely to have heart failure.
For those susceptible, the effect of planes passing overhead can — just like episodes of intense emotion — lead to death within just two hours, the researchers said.
‘We found that aircraft noise contributed to about 800 out of 25,000 cardiovascular deaths that occurred between 2000 and 2015 in the vicinity of Zurich airport,’ said epidemiologist Martin Röösli at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.
‘This represents 3% of all observed cardiovascular deaths.’
Previous research found that noise pollution is responsible for around 48,000 cases of ischemic (or coronary) heart disease across Europe every year.
In their study, Dr Röösli and colleagues analysed data on 24,886 cardiovascular disease deaths that occurred in the vicinity of Zürich Airport from 2000–2015.
They used a so-called ‘case-crossover’ model to determine whether the subject’s noise exposure around their time of death was unusually high in comparison to sounds levels they experienced at other, randomly-selected times.
To do this, the model combined a record of all aircraft movements in and out of Zurich Airport during the 15-year study period with pre-existing calculations of the noise exposure from different aircraft, travelling on given routes at different times.
‘This study design is very useful to study acute effects of noise exposure with high day-to-day variability — such as for airplane noise, given changing weather conditions or flight delays,’ said paper author and epidemiologist Apolline Saucy.
‘With this temporal analysis approach, we can isolate the effect of unusually high or low levels of noise on mortality from other factors.’
‘Lifestyle characteristics such as smoking or diet cannot be a bias in this study design,’ she added.
The team’s model suggested that the risk of cardiovascular death increases by 33% for those individuals exposed to night-time noise in the order of 40–50 decibels — equivalent to the sound of a refrigerator in operation.
People exposed to night-time noise above 55 decibels — near the volume of normal conversation — had a 44% increase in their risk of cardiovascular death.
For comparison, being subjected to noises over 85 decibels — such as hairdryers, blenders and power tools — continuously for more than 30 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Individual Aircraft Noise Exposure Assessment for a Case-Crossover Study in Switzerland †
Accurate exposure assessment is essential in environmental epidemiological studies. This is especially true for aircraft noise, which is characterized by a high spatial and temporal variation. We propose a method to assess individual aircraft noise exposure for a case-crossover study investigating the acute effects of aircraft noise on cardiovascular deaths. We identified all cases of cardiovascular death (24,886) occurring near Zürich airport, Switzerland, over fifteen years from the Swiss National Cohort. Outdoor noise exposure at the home address was calculated for the night preceding death and control nights using flight operations information from Zürich airport and noise footprints calculated for major aircraft types and air routes. We estimated three different noise metrics: mean sound pressure level (LAeq), maximum sound pressure level (LAmax), and number above threshold 55 dB (NAT55) for different nighttime windows. Average nighttime aircraft noise levels were 45.2 dB, 64.6 dB, and 18.5 for LAeq, LAmax, and NAT55 respectively. In this paper, we present a method to estimate individual aircraft noise exposure with high spatio-temporal resolution and a flexible choice of exposure events and metrics. This exposure assessment will be used in a case-crossover study investigating the acute effects of noise on health.
…. then the long study details ….
We present a method to assess individual aircraft noise exposures with high temporal and spatial resolution. This method, especially designed to support a case-crossover study, represents a novel framework to investigate the short-term effects of aircraft noise on mortality. We propose to apply this approach to retrospective data and this paper may, therefore, serve as an exposure assessment method in large, long-term cohort settings. Due to its differences towards other study designs in terms of possible bias and confounding, this approach may complement previous research and bring meaningful insights in our general understanding of the acute physiological effects of noise.
and see whole study at