Traffic noise can shorten your life, new research suggests. Having to endure rumbling lorries, honking horns and screeching tyres has been linked to shorter life expectancy and a higher risk of stroke.
People surrounded by daytime traffic noise louder than 60db were 4 per cent more likely to die than those where noise levels were 55db – roughly the level of a loud conversation.
The extra deaths mostly involved heart or artery disease - which could in turn be linked to raised blood pressure, sleep problems and stress brought on by noise, the scientists claim.
A total of 8.6 million living in London between 2003 and 2010 provided data for the study, reported in the European Heart Journal.
《欧洲心脏杂志》(European Heart Journal)的报告指出，该项研究的数据来源是2003至2010年居住在伦敦的860万人。
Lead scientist Dr Jaana Halonen, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: 'Road traffic noise has previously been associated with sleep problems and increased blood pressure, but our study is the first in the UK to show a link with deaths and strokes.'
伦敦卫生及热带医学学院 (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)的首席科学家亚纳·哈洛宁博士(Jaana Halonen)表示：“道路交通噪音早前被证明与睡眠问题和血压升高有关，但我们的研究是英国第一个将道路交通噪音和死亡、中风联系在一起的。”
In London, more than 1.6 million people are exposed to daytime road traffic noise louder than this threshold.
The study also found that adults living in areas with the noisiest daytime traffic were 5% more likely to be admitted to hospital for stroke than those from quieter neighbourhoods. For the elderly, this increase in risk rose to 9%.
Between 2003 and 2010, a total of 442,560 adults from the study population died from all causes, of whom 291,139 were elderly.
The scientists looked levels of road traffic noise between 7am and 11pm, and at night between 11pm and 7am, across a range of different postcodes and correlated their findings with death and hospital admission rates. A number of factors - including individuals' age and sex as well as ethnicity, smoking levels, air pollution and socio-economic deprivation - were taken into account.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Francesco Cappuccio, chair of Cardiovascular Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Warwick, said: 'The results do not imply a direct cause-effect relationship. However, they are consistent with other evidence to suggest a possible causal link.'
针对研究结果，华威大学(University of Warwick)心血管医学和流行病学主席、教授弗朗西斯科·卡普乔(Francesco Cappuccio)发表评论称：“这些结果并不意味着道路交通噪音和死亡、中风之间存在直接因果关系。不过，研究结果与其他能证明这种因果关系可能存在的证据具有一致性。“
'For instance, it has been well established that nocturnal traffic noise disrupts sleep quantity and quality. If sustained over time, these disturbances, like sleep deprivation, have been associated with a 12% increased risk of all-cause mortality, mainly due to a 15% increase in stroke events and high blood pressure. Public health policies must pay more attention to this emerging evidence.'
Dr Tim Chico, consultant cardiologist at the University of Sheffield, said: ‘There may be other factors that link high noise areas with cardiovascular disease, and it is difficult to take all of these into account.
Nevertheless, given what we know about traffic emissions increasing heart disease, we should remember that travelling by foot or bike is definitely healthier - both for you and for the people around you.’