(HealthDay News) — Long-term exposure to road traffic noise is associated with an increased incidence of primary hypertension, according to a study published in the issue of JACC: Advances.

Jing Huang, PhD, from Peking University in Beijing, and colleagues conducted a prospective population-based analysis in the UK Biobank to examine the correlations of long-term road traffic noise exposure with incident primary hypertension. Hazard ratios for an association were examined in a sample of more than 240,000 participants free of hypertension at baseline.

The researchers identified 21,140 incident primary hypertension cases during a median of 8.1 years of follow-up. For a 10-dB[A] increment in mean weighted average 24-hour road traffic noise level (Lden) exposure, the hazard ratio was 1.07. There was a dose-response relationship observed, with a hazard ratio of 1.13 for Lden >65 dB[A] versus ≤55 dB[A]. After adjustment for fine particles and nitrogen dioxide, the associations were all robust. The highest hypertension risk was seen with high exposure to both road traffic noise and air pollution.

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“The data demonstrated in this article provide a higher quality of evidence to justify the potential to modify road traffic noise and air pollution from both individual and societal levels in improving cardiovascular health — namely, hypertension prevention,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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