Transportation noise pollution and cardiovascular disease

Thomas Münzel*, Mette Sørensen, Andreas Daiber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

Abstract

Epidemiological studies have found that transportation noise increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, with high-quality evidence for ischaemic heart disease. According to the WHO, ≥1.6 million healthy life-years are lost annually from traffic-related noise in Western Europe. Traffic noise at night causes fragmentation and shortening of sleep, elevation of stress hormone levels, and increased oxidative stress in the vasculature and the brain. These factors can promote vascular dysfunction, inflammation and hypertension, thereby elevating the risk of cardiovascular disease. In this Review, we focus on the indirect, non-auditory cardiovascular health effects of transportation noise. We provide an updated overview of epidemiological research on the effects of transportation noise on cardiovascular risk factors and disease, discuss the mechanistic insights from the latest clinical and experimental studies, and propose new risk markers to address noise-induced cardiovascular effects in the general population. We also explain, in detail, the potential effects of noise on alterations of gene networks, epigenetic pathways, gut microbiota, circadian rhythm, signal transduction along the neuronal–cardiovascular axis, oxidative stress, inflammation and metabolism. Lastly, we describe current and future noise-mitigation strategies and evaluate the status of the existing evidence on noise as a cardiovascular risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews. Cardiology
Volume18
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)619-636
Number of pages18
ISSN1759-5002
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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