They believe high and consistent exposure to lots of noise, even when you're sleeping, can eventually lead to the development of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. "One can close his eyes but not his ears," lead author Thomas Munzel told Time.
The scientists said those in urban areas should think about the noise population around them. Furthermore, the problem could exacerbate as more people move to these populous locations.
While they did not note the volume threshold for heart disease risk, they said chronic exposure to anything above 60 decibels, which is the level of an typical conversation in the office, can be harmful. A telephone ring is about 80 decibels, a jackhammer produces about 100 and an airplane takeoff is 120.
Despite their findings, they think specific strategies, such as the traffic management and low-noise tires for cars, are a step in the right direction, and they are hopeful for even more advancements.
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"As the percentage of the population exposed to detrimental levels of transportation noise are rising," authors said, "new developments and legislation to reduce noise are important for public health."