ABSTRACT: The consequences of the constant urban rumble extend beyond childhood. Numerous studies have linked noise pollution to increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Even small increases in unwanted ambient sound have significant effects. In 2011, for example, scientists studying people living near seven major European airports found that a 10-decibel increase in aircraft noise was associated with a 28 percent increase in anxiety medication use. Another study found that people living in areas with more road traffic noise were 25 percent more likely than those living in quieter neighborhoods to have symptoms of depression. Similarly, people exposed to noise pollution were found to be significantly more likely to have heart problems like atrial fibrillation compared to those unaffected by noise.