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Noisy Roadways Disrupt Sleep

Posted Oct 10 2012 10:08pm
Posted on Oct. 8, 2012, 6 a.m. in Sleep Environment

Recognized by the World Health Organization as a harmful pollutant, environmental noise can cause annoyance and sleep disturbance, which can lead to adverse health effects and chronic diseases. James B. Holt, from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA), and colleagues analyzed data on road traffic noise in three large cities in the greater-Atlanta (Georgia, USA) area. The research estimated that the percentage of the overall populations at risk of high annoyance is 9.5%, and highly disturbed sleep at 2.3%.  Long-term exposure to noise may contribute to an increase in the risks of heart attack and high blood pressure. Nighttime noise can reduce sleep quality and increase morning tiredness and insomnia. The study authors warn that: "[in] urban areas with high levels of road traffic … it may be important for the public's health to update existing noise-related policies or develop new ones to control and abate noise concerns in urban communities.”

Minho Kim, Seo I. Chang, Jeong C. Seong, James B. Holt, Tae H. Park, Joon H. Ko, Janet B. Croft.  “Road Traffic Noise: Annoyance, Sleep Disturbance, and Public Health Implications.”  American J Preventive Medicine, 1 October 2012, volume 43, issue 4, pages 353-360.

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