Am J Prev Med. 2015 Sep;49(3):345-53. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.02.016. Epub 2015 May 26.


INTRODUCTION: Environmental noise pollution increases the risk for hearing loss, stress, sleep disruption, annoyance, and cardiovascular disease and has other adverse health impacts. Recent (2013) estimates suggest that more than 100 million Americans are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise. Given the pervasive nature and significant health effects of environmental noise pollution, the corresponding economic impacts may be substantial.

METHODS: This 2014 economic assessment developed a new approach to estimate the impact of environmental noise on the prevalence and cost of key components of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the U.S. By placing environmental noise in context with comparable environmental pollutants, this approach can inform public health law, planning, and policy. The effects of hypothetical national-scale changes in environmental noise levels on the prevalence and corresponding costs of hypertension and coronary heart disease were estimated, with the caveat that the national-level U.S. noise data our exposure estimates were derived from are >30 years old.

RESULTS: The analyses suggested that a 5-dB noise reduction scenario would reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 1.4% and coronary heart disease by 1.8%. The annual economic benefit was estimated at $3.9 billion.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest significant economic impacts from environmental noise-related cardiovascular disease. Given these initial findings, noise may deserve increased priority and research as an environmental health hazard.

PMID:26024562 | PMC:PMC4819987 | DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.02.016