CBS News, Fox News, and even Men’s Fitness reports that living in a busy city with constant traffic noise increases your chance of developing heart attacks.

“The researchers found that for every 10 decibels of added traffic noise near a participant’s residence, heart attack risk jumped up 12 percent.” – CBS NEWS

According to the research conducted in Denmark, scientists pooled 57,053 people to participate in a study for this “noise pollution” over the course of an average time of 9.8 years. The participants were 50-64 years old.The conclusion of this study is that a long-term exposure to traffic noise directly correlated with a higher risk for myocardial infarction (heart attacks).

Find out more by reading the actual research article from PLoS ONE, “Road Traffic Noise and Incident Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort Study.”

Figure 1 from “Road Traffic Noise and Incident Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort Study” research paper – Association between road traffic noise and myocardial infarction.

The graph above is a figure from the actual research paper. The figure 1 explains the correlation between the road traffic noise (x-axis) with observed heart attacks (y-axis). There is a positive correlation between the two variables. The median of 56.4 Decibles is the reference point. In the paper, it references the dotted line as the 95% confidence interval. Confidence interval is a statistical estimate of population study which determines the validity and the reliability of the estimated study. You can also note that there is a positive correlation between the x and y-axis (traffic noise and heart attacks respectively).

CBS News – Written very similar to the actual research paper. Quoted from CBS news, Dr. Mette Sorenson, researcher of Danish Cancer Society, “…wrote that for this study air pollution wasn’t a factor.”CBS News also mentions the age group for the study which informs the readers that the participants are older group of people.

CBS News

Fox News and Men’s Fitness – Reporting the same news, they both failed to mention the participant’s age. Readers may form a different opinion if they knew that the age group of the participants were 50 to 64 years old. According to professor Sally Lusk of University of Michigan, she states that “noise pollution” is not considered a health hazard in the United States as much as the Europeans considers it. She conducted her own research in which “exposure to high noise levels raises blood pressure.” Fox News provided additional research and information like Lusk, for the readers to evaluate the risks of living in an area with high volume of traffic noises. Men’s Fitness informs the readers the health risks and how it may affect the body.

In contrast to “noise pollution,” air pollution can create problems not only for the lungs but also affect the heart and brain. 

Science News – Researchers are reporting that pollution indeed can have an adverse affect to the heart. This report is a detailed, long news report from Science News. Not only does it inform the readers of the effect of air pollution, but also, educates the readers how it may be affecting your body. Cardiologists, toxicologists from the Environmental Protection Agency are quoted.

“Beginning in childhood, fatty plaque deposits can begin to accumulate along the interior walls of arteries. Various agents of the body’s immune system … can inflame this plaque. And when they do, the fatty deposits can engorge with immunity-driven materials, eventually to the point of bursting.” – Science News

When this “bursting” occurs, the human body immediately considers it a cut or a wound. Therefore, the body will try to heal itself by sealing the “burst.” This is a good defense mechanism to limit excessive internal bleeding or breaching un-wanted foreign particles. However, the clot can also block blood passages which can unintentionally create spasms and stress.