Noise at night increases the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases

Noise at night increases the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases

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Traffic noise increases the risk of heart disease

Nowadays we are exposed to noise pollution almost everywhere. There is a lot of noise in cities, not least because of the often immense traffic. This is not only annoying, it is also harmful to health and increases the risk of heart disease. Night noise has a particularly negative effect on the heart, as a study has now shown.

Last year, an investigation showed that around three quarters of Germans feel permanently bothered by noise. Traffic noise in particular bothers most people. This is not only annoying, it also damages health and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A new study has now shown that night noise is particularly bad for the heart.

Risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases

Traffic noise is harmful to health and is a risk factor in particular for the development of cardiovascular diseases. A new international overview study led by the Center for Cardiology at the University Medical Center Mainz shows that a disturbed night's sleep increases the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

According to a message, the formation of free radicals (oxidative stress) and inflammatory reactions in the brain, heart and blood vessels are important influencing factors in this process.

The new findings were published in the current edition of the renowned journal "Annual Review of Public Health".

Night noise leads to a disturbance of the internal clock

As explained in the communication, night noise leads to a disturbance of the internal clock, the so-called circadian rhythm. But this represents an important regulatory system of our body, since it controls a large part of the functional, metabolic and biological parameters of our organism depending on the time of day.

How the body regulates, for example, body temperature, blood pressure, memory or even appetite, energy balance or the numerous hormones and the immune system depends on whether it is day or night.

Scientists from the Center for Cardiology at the University Medical Center Mainz, the Cancer Institute Denmark and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute have examined in more detail the effects of night noise on the cardiovascular system and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

For this purpose, the experts analyzed a large number of current research results including the Mainz noise impact studies and compiled the results in an overview article.

Increased blood pressure and stiffer vessels

A key finding of the study is that a short or often interrupted sleep caused by traffic noise increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future.

It was shown that night noise in particular increases blood pressure, increases the release of stress hormones and makes the vessels stiffer - all important factors influencing the development of cardiovascular diseases.

If a heart disease has already been identified in the patients, the vascular damage caused by night flight noise is particularly pronounced. Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders, which can occur as a result of negative emotions regarding night noise, are also medically relevant.

Especially when those affected already have noise experience, the vessels show greater and greater damage. The body, and especially the vessels, do not get used to the noise - the researchers concluded.

Noise limits must be observed

The director of studies and director of cardiology I at the Center for Cardiology of the University Medical Center Mainz, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Münzel and his teammate Univ.-Prof. Andreas Daiber are pleased with the success of the international research project:

"It was important to summarize the current situation on noise and health with international experts and at the same time to comment on the new European WHO guidelines on noise. Noise impact research is helping us to understand more and more how noise causes heart disease, ”the scientists explain.

"The results of clinical investigations with evidence of an association between cardiovascular diseases and also mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders are particularly supported by the Mainz preclinical noise studies and sometimes also explained," said the experts.

“In the future, we believe it is essential that noise is recognized as an important cardiovascular risk factor and that the WHO guidelines are included in EU noise laws, which ensure that noise limits for day and night must be observed. In the future, politicians and the respective decision-makers on site should work to ensure that the legally defined night time from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. remains noise-free. ”(Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University Medical Center Mainz: Traffic noise at night damages the heart more than during the day, (accessed: January 27, 2020), University Medical Center Mainz
  • Thomas Münzel, Swenja Kroeller-Schön, Matthias Oelze, Tommaso Gori, Frank P. Schmidt, Sebastian Steven, Omar Hahad, Martin Röösli, Jean-Marc Wunderli, Andreas Daiber, Mette Sørensen: Adverse Cardiovascular Effects of Traffic Noise with a Focus on Nighttime Noise and the New WHO Noise Guidelines; in: Annual Review of Public Health, (published: 10.01.2020), Annual Review of Public Health

Video: Insomnia patients have higher risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases (May 2022).


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