Spending long periods of time in a noisy workplace can more than double the risk of contracting heart disease, according to a study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The study found that one in five (21 per cent) of workers, mostly men, work in noisy conditions - defined as an environment in which it is difficult to talk at a normal volume. And they were two to three times more likely to have heart disease compared with workers who did not have to endure noise.
Even though these individuals tend to smoke and weigh more than those working in quieter environments, the study found that noise itself is a risk factor for heart disease even when these other risk factors are taken into consideration.
The study suggests that noise exerts the same kind of stress on the body as sudden strong emotion or physical exertion, releasing chemicals that constrict blood flow through the arteries.