Medical report reveals aircraft noise danger
A new report has found living near an airport or under flightpaths can increase the likelihood of dying from a stroke or heart and circulatory disease.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found the chance of getting any of these health problems was increased by as much as 20 per cent.
Researchers from King’s College London and Imperial College spoke to 3.6m residents near Heathrow to compile the report.
The findings from the report suggest a higher risk for both hospital admissions and deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease for the 2 per cent of the study, about 70,000 people, who lived where the aircraft noise was loudest.
Dr Anna Hansell, the lead author from Imperial, said: “There’s a startle reaction to loud noise – if you’re suddenly exposed to it, the heart rate and blood pressure increase.
“And aircraft noise can be annoying for some people, which can also affect their blood pressure, leading to illness.
“The relative importance of daytime and night-time noise from aircraft also needs to be investigated further.”
There are plans to build a third runway at Heathrow, increasing the number of flights from 480,000 a year to 740,000, though airport bosses say fewer people would be affected by noise due to new flight paths.
Heathrow’s director of sustainability Matt Gorman said: “We are charging airlines more for noisier aircraft, offering insulation and double glazing to residents and are working with noise campaigners to give people predictable periods of respite from noise.
“Together, these measures have meant that the number of people affected by noise has fallen by 90 per cent since the 1970s, despite the number of flights almost doubling.”