How living in a noisy city can trigger heart problems
The cacophony of noisy town centres could trigger heart problems, a new study suggests.
Scientists have discovered that fluctuating sounds on busy high streets disturb normal cardiac rhythms.
Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found that constant changes in noise - even at low levels - had an immediate and disruptive effect on the patterns of participants' normal heart rates.
The team says its findings add to a growing body of research which shows how our everyday surroundings could have wider implications for long-term health.
For the study, shoppers were asked to wear mobile body sensors to monitor their heart rates as they moved about Nottingham city centre for 45 minutes.
"We found that rapid changes in noise resulted in rapid disturbance to the normal rhythm of participants' hearts," said researcher Dr Eiman Kanjo, of Nottingham Trent's School of Science and Technology. "If this pattern is repeated regularly there is a danger it might lead to cardiovascular problems."