Increased risks for cardiovascular disease: Airborne noise damages the blood vessels

Exposure to aircraft noise increases risk of cardiovascular disease
In recent years, a connection between aircraft noise and diseases has repeatedly been shown in scientific studies. In a new study, researchers have now come up with further explanations as to why the noise caused by aircraft is leading to more cardiovascular diseases in the long term.

Aircraft noise makes you sick
People who live near an airport often have to deal with heavy noise pollution. The noise can quickly become a health risk factor. For example, scientific studies have shown that aircraft noise increases the risk of depression. In addition, the noise promotes strokes and heart disease. In a new study, scientists have now been able to decode mechanisms responsible for vascular damage due to aircraft noise.

According to a new study aircraft noise leads to more stress hormones, vascular damage and long-term to more cardiovascular diseases.(Image: kathijung /

increases stress hormone and decreases sleep quality

Aircraft noise in the long term leads to increased development of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart attacks and strokes.

As reported by the University Medical Center Mainz in a communication, a working group of Professor Münzel succeeded in 2013 to prove that simulated nocturnal noise increases the stress hormone epinephrine, diminishes the quality of sleep and triggers vascular damage called endothelial dysfunction.

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  • However, the molecular mechanisms underlying thisVascular damage unknown until now. However, the scientists were able to detect measurably that aircraft noise causes a significant increase in stress hormones, a vascular dysfunction, increased oxidative stress in the vessels and a marked change in the expression of genes in the vessel wall.

    They also decrypted the enzymes responsible for the vascular damage. According to the researchers, the results of this study for the first time make it possible to develop specific strategies that attenuate noise-induced negative consequences for vessels.

    They described the results published in the journal "European Heart Journal" as a breakthrough in( flight) noise research.

    Hypersensitivity to vasoconstrictor substances
    To reach their results, the scientists tested the effects of two different noise scenarios on the vessels in an animal model. In one noise scenario, mice were exposed to aircraft noise for four days and to environmental noise( "white noise") for four days in the other.

    The experts found that aircraft noise causes endothelial dysfunction within one day, causes hypersensitivity to vasoconstrictor substances, and significantly increases stress hormone levels. This leads among other things to hypertension.

    Therefore, this was primarily due to an increased formation of free radicals as a result of aircraft noise. Interestingly, the same noise levels with ambient noise within four days had no negative consequences for the vessels.

    study authors speak of breakthrough in noise research
    According to the study authors, the results represent a breakthrough in noise research: "Because traditional risk factors lead to vascular dysfunction through the same mechanisms, it must be expected that noise enhances the effect of cardiovascular risk factors and thus the processof vascular calcification. "

    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Münzel said: "For the first time, it will now be possible to test to what extent cardiovascular drugs can prevent aircraft noise-induced damage to vessels. In addition, we will also investigate the effects of road and rail noise in the near future. "(Ad)

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