Study: Noise In Workplace Raises Cholesterol, Blood Pressure

A US study recommends that laborers who are presented to a great deal of commotion at work will probably grow hypertension and lifted cholesterol.

While boisterous employments have for some time been related with hearing challenges, the ebb and flow think about offers new confirmation that louder work conditions may add to chance variables for coronary illness too.
Study coauthor Elizabeth Masterson of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, said: “A significant percentage of the workers we studied have hearing difficulty, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that could be attributed to noise at work.”

About 22 million US workers are exposed to loud noise on the job, she said by email.

“If noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than 5 million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could be prevented,” she added.

“This study also provides further evidence of an association between occupational noise exposure and high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the potential to prevent these conditions if noise is reduced,” Masterson said.

The study team notes in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that noise is thought to increase heart risks by causing stress, which in turn triggers release of stress hormones like cortisol, and changes in blood vessels and heart rate.

For the study, researchers examined survey data from 22,906 adults who were employed in 2014.

One in four workers reported exposure to occupational noise at some point in the past, and 14 percent had experienced loud work conditions in the previous year.

Industries with the most noise exposure included mining, construction and manufacturing.

Overall, 12 percent of participants had hearing difficulties, 24 percent had high blood pressure, 28 percent had high cholesterol and 4 percent had experienced a major cardiovascular problem like a heart attack or stroke.

After accounting for participants’ other risk factors, the researchers attributed 58 percent of the cases of hearing difficulty, 14 percent of the instances of high blood pressure and 9 percent of the elevated cholesterol cases to exposure to occupational noise.

The study did not, however, find a clear link between noisy work conditions and heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. The study was not a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how occupational noise exposure might directly cause risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol or lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Still, workers can take steps to reduce noise exposure by using quieter equipment when possible, keeping machinery well maintained, and erecting barriers between noise sources and work areas, and wearing hearing protection.

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