Sunday, October 17, 2010

'Noisy workplaces bad for heart'

Workplaces subject to constant noise increase risk of serious heart problems, making people susceptible to gaining weight and smoking more, a new research shows.

The study published in the British Medical Journal reports that people working in consistently noisy settings are at a double risk of serious heart problems. For people under 50 years old, the risk increases to four times and it is particularly evident with young male smokers. The study used more than 6,000 subjects over a five-year period.

It divided the employees into those who suffered from persistent loud noise at work for three months or more and those who did not.

Those suffering from a noisy environment tended to smoke and weigh more than those who worked in quiet environments, The Times of India reported. This link was even more evident with workers under 50 as they were between three and four times more vulnerable to having a heart attack, coronary artery disease or angina.

"Loud noise day after day may be as strong an external stressor as sudden strong emotion or physical exertion, the effect of which is to prompt various chemical messengers to constrict blood flow through the coronary arteries…

This study suggests that excess noise exposure in the workplace is an important occupational health issue," researchers told The Daily Mail. June Davison of the British Heart Foundation said, "Some people find sustained noise very taxing and stressful and that could explain this link between noisy workplaces and an increased risk of heart disease."

"For people who already have heart disease, occasionally stress can trigger chest pains or even a heart attack," she added.