- New research has found that aircraft noise can worsen the damage caused by myocardial infarction and exacerbate ischemic heart disease.
- Traffic noise may be a major factor in the progression and worsening of ischemic heart disease.
Scientists from the Cardiology Department at the University Medical Center Mainz have discovered that exposure to noise with an average sound pressure level of 72 dB and a peak level of 85 dB for up to four days can lead to increased pro-inflammatory aortic gene expression in mice.
The study showed that noise caused the adhesion and infiltration of inflammatory cells in cardiac and vascular tissue, accompanied by an increase in leukocytes with a pro-inflammatory and reactive oxygen species-producing phenotype and the expression of the phagocytic NADPH oxidase/phospho-NFκB in peripheral blood. The researchers used the permanent LAD ligation model to induce myocardial infarction and worsen cardiac function.
Moreover, animals exposed to noise before experiencing myocardial infarction displayed more severe endothelial dysfunction and more pronounced increases in vascular reactive oxygen species and signs of inflammation. The study also revealed that participants in the Gutenberg Health Cohort Study with incident myocardial infarction had elevated C-reactive protein levels at baseline and worse left ventricular ejection fraction after myocardial infarction in cases with a history of noise exposure and subsequent development of noise annoyance.
More Findings From The Study
According to the lead and senior authors of the study, Michael Molitor and Philip Wenzel, their research has shown that exposure to aircraft noise before myocardial infarction can significantly increase cardiovascular inflammation and worsen ischemic heart failure through pro-inflammatory vascular conditioning. They also found that people who have had noise exposure in the past are likely to have worse outcomes if they experience acute myocardial infarction later in life.
Cardiologist and noise expert Thomas Münzel, who was involved in the study, stated that this was the first translational study to investigate the effects of aircraft noise on acute myocardial infarction. He added that the results were remarkable, showing that aircraft noise greatly exacerbates the consequences of ischemia, including left ventricular function, inflammation, and oxidative stress, in both experimental animals and humans.
Based on the findings, Münzel emphasized that transportation noise should be considered a significant cardiovascular risk factor, comparable to hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, smoking, and diabetes mellitus.