Noise Pollution

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Story Updated: May 9, 2013

Researchers in Germany had more than 100 people record their heart activity over several 6-hour spans. They also recorded surrounding noise levels. The sounds were classified as either above or below a threshold of 65 decibels , which is the level of a normal conversation. The corresponding heart activity was then analyzed. According to the results, the heart's ability to adapt to acute events was affected by as little as a 5 decibel increase in exposure no matter what level the noise started at. The researchers say their findings show that noise at low levels may be just as harmful to your health as noise at high levels.

Since the average age of the participants was 61, there is interest in repeating the study with younger people to see if the results are the same.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com