- Understanding aviation noise
- Health impacts of noise
- Cardiovascular diseases
This section discusses critical risks to the cardiovascular system arising from aircraft noise exposure.
The main cardiovascular health effects under investigation are:
- Hypertension (hypertensive disease) - is also a significant risk factor for other cardiovascular diseases and is the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality;
- Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), also known as coronary artery disease, including myocardial infarction;
- The risk of stroke is associated with an increase in both the prevalence and incidence of stroke.
Summary of WHO review on the impact of aircraft noise on the cardiovascular system
In the systematic review on cardiovascular diseases and adverse metabolic effects for the WHO, no significant associations between aircraft noise and increased risk of an incident or prevalent hypertension as well as stroke were found; only the incidence of IHD (ischemic heart disease) appeared to be significantly associated.
For more details on the aviation noise effect on cardiovascular diseases, please read WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects: A Summary(Van Kempen, E.; Casas, M.; Pershagen, G.; Foraster, M., 2018).
Updated review on aircraft-noise related cardiovascular disease
For this review, ANIMA evaluated ten studies investigating the impact of aircraft noise exposure on the risk of different cardiovascular health outcomes.
Due to the wide variety of different cardiovascular diseases investigated in the evaluated studies, ANIMA sorted them depending on the cardiovascular disease group under observation. These groups are hypertensive heart disease, ischaemic heart disease (including myocardial infarction), other heart disease forms, and cerebrovascular disease (including stroke).
Type of study
Number of studies
Aircraft noise and hypertension
Four showed aircraft noise to be positively associated with the prevalence and incidence of hypertension. Three studies found no significant associations with hypertension. One study observed an increased risk for hypertensive heart disease in people exposed to aircraft noise levels between 55 – 59 (dB).
Aircraft noise and ischemic heart disease (IHD), including myocardial infarction
IHD mortality was found to be associated with aircraft noise, while the increased risk for incidence of IHD was observed to be associated with aircraft noise only in women. Four studies observed an association between exposure to aircraft noise and myocardial infarction mortality. Only one of the reviewed studies found no association between aircraft noise and myocardial infarction.
Aircraft noise and stroke morbidity
No significant increase was found associated with noise measures; only exposure levels of LAeq,24h < 40 dB, and at least six LAmax > 50 dB events were associated with elevated risk for stroke. In studies evaluating the effect of aircraft noise on stroke mortality, two studies did not find associations between aircraft noise exposure and increased risks, while an association with elevated noise levels was observed in another study.
In general, evaluated studies observed a positive association between exposure to aircraft noise and increased risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease (Evrard et al., 2015; Heritier et al., 2017).
Empirical evidence illustrates a link between aircraft noise exposure and the risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease.