Traffic Noises Might Increase Dementia Risk

It is estimated that millions of people around the world have dementia. The number keeps increasing when the global population gets aged.

Finding out possible risk factors for dementia that can be modified plays an important role in preventing and managing this health issue.

A recent study published in the BMJ journal indicates that being exposed to traffic noise may increase the risk of dementia.

In the research, scientists included around 2 million people in Denmark, aged at least 60 years old. All of them lived in Denmark between 2004 and 2017. The authors measured their exposure to railway noise and road traffic.

During this period, they used the national health registers of Denmark to find out cases of dementia, including Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 103,000 dementia cases were reported during this period. After analyzing the data, scientists found out a link between traffic noise and increased risk of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Some animal studies suggest that being exposed to noise continually may trigger the production of key genes, which result in the neuropathological adjustments associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Traffic noise is the second-worst environmental risk factor for general public health in Europe, only after air pollution. At least 1 out of 5 people in the continent is exposed to traffic noise above 55 decibels, which is the recommended safe level.

Traffic noise at night is particularly concerning because sleep is very important for cognitive and mental restoration.

Many experimental studies indicate that fragmented sleep due to noise disturbance may increase the risk of systemic inflammation, changes in the immune system, and increased oxidative stress. All of these are major risk factors for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

In addition, the scientists note a decline in the risk at the most exposed parts of buildings. This contradiction may be explained by better insulation of sounds at higher levels of noise.

While this was a comprehensive and large study, it was still observational. This means we could not establish causality.

Another drawback is the lack of data about the lifestyle habits of participants, which may affect the risk of developing dementia. Also, the team did not consider noise from other sources, such as work sites, industrial activities, and airports.

Further research should be done to help us learn more about the harmful effects of noise pollution on public health.

Source:

https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1954

Related Articles

Hair Loss in Men – Causes and Treatments

Ailments & Conditions
Hair loss is a common health issue in many people, especially men. It occurs when the crown becomes thinner or the hairline recedes gradually....

Tick Bite Treatments for Humans

Your Health
Ticks are not uncommon in many parts of the country. They can be found outdoors, especially in leaf piles, shrubs, trees, and grasses. These...

The Causes and Preventions of Hormonal Belly

Fitness & Wellness
Overview Are you concerned that your jeans are getting tighter and your shirts are no longer fitting and are more difficult to button? You might...

The 7 Stages of Dementia

Your Health
Dementia is a group of diseases characterized by a decline in mental functions. It is a progressive condition that can be caused by some...

The Health Benefits of Boric Acid

Your Health
Boric acid, also known as orthoboric acid or hydrogen borate, is a weakly acidic hydrate of boric oxide. It contains many mild antiviral, antifungal,...

15 Elbow Pain Home Remedies

Your Health
Elbow pain is a common complaint in many people. It would be caused by different reasons, such as physical injuries, strains, muscle overuse, or...

Cancer Fighting Foods – 13 Foods to Include in Your Diet

Ailments & Conditions
What you eat every day can have significant effects on your health, including the risks of developing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease....

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

Ailments & Conditions
Attention deficit hyperactivity or ADHD is a mental health condition characterized by impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and trouble focusing. Symptoms often appear in early childhood...