Approximately 90 million workers in the Africa are exposed to potentially hazardous noise levels each year, and 40 million are exposed to harmful toxins or chemicals that may affect their hearing, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Whether it’s aviation, construction or manufacturing, many industries carry a risk of hearing loss due to the presence of loud noise. However, there’s another health hazard of loud noise that’s often overlooked: heart disease.
A new study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that workers who are exposed to loud noise for a prolonged length of time are more likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol than their counterparts who aren’t exposed to loud noise.
It’s unclear exactly how exposure to loud noise contributes to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Some researchers theorize that it’s related to the increased stress of loud noise. When exposed to loud noise, workers become more stressed, which could result in higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Other researchers believe that loud noise causes biochemical changes that affect blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regardless the reason, though, it’s safe to assume that exposure to loud noise increases the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.