Residents near airports may be slightly more at risk from symptoms linked to heart problems, study suggests | UK News

People living near to an airport may be slightly more susceptible to symptoms linked to heart problems, a university study has claimed.

A study conduced by Imperial College London looked at hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases among residents whose homes are under Heathrow Airport’s flight paths.

They analysed research on figures recorded between 2014 and 2018.

According to a paper published in online journal Environment International, researchers found that there was a “small increase of risk” of being admitted to hospital for people who had experienced louder noise during the previous night.

It was revealed that men over the age of 65 were particularly affected.

So, what else did the study find?

The team of researchers found that aircraft noise can disrupt sleep and raise blood pressure as well as stress hormone levels – which are factors linked to heart problems.

However, evidence of an association between aircraft noise and deaths due to a heart attack was limited, although this could be attributed to a small sample size.

Researchers have said, the findings provide “potential” evidence that aircraft noise in the late evening and night-time may be associated with increased risk cardiovascular hospitalisations and deaths in the population living within the Heathrow Airport.

But more research is needed to understand the impact of aircraft noises.

The team added: “This is consistent with a mechanism of action via disturbed sleep and has implications for developing respite measures for the communities situated near busy airports.

“Further research into these potential respite mechanisms and behavioural interventions, including runway rotation and noise insulation initiatives, is needed to understand how best to translate the findings from this study into action.”

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Aircraft noise has been an issue during Heathrow’s long-running bid to gain permission to build a third runway.

Modern planes are a lot more quieter than previous models, but there are concerns that an increase in flights will cause more disturbance.

Heathrow has said reducing the impact of noise from flights is a vital part of its sustainability strategy.

Airport bosses have also said since 2006, they have reduced its noise footprint – the area where residents are exposed to aircraft noise.