Jet plane blood pressure warning

NOISE from jet planes can send your blood pressure skywards - that's official.People say noise from increasing passenger aircraft over Suffolk is getting on their nerves, but experts now say it can certainly make your blood pressure rocket.

Richard Cornwell

NOISE from jet planes can send your blood pressure skywards - that's official.

People say noise from increasing passenger aircraft over Suffolk is getting on their nerves, but experts now say it can certainly make your blood pressure rocket.

With 1,200 aircraft over-flying the county every day and the number set to rise dramatically in the next 20 years, the problems could affect even more people.


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The Evening Star's Air Fair campaign has expressed huge concern over aircraft noise and experts say studies show night-time noise is already damaging people's health - with those worst affected living closest to airports.

But the new study shows anyone under a flightpath could be at risk.

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Aviation industry observers say planes are becoming quieter and every possible measure is being taken to reduce sound levels while the government says restrictions strictly control the numbers of night-time flights.

The new research has been carried out by Imperial College, London, funded by the European Commission.

Dr Lars Jarup and a group of colleagues carried out a four-year study focussing on 140 people living near four major European airports, including Heathrow.

Their blood pressure was monitored and increases in aircraft noise were found to cause increases in blood pressure within minutes.

Dr Jarup said: “We know that noise from air traffic can be a source of irritation, but our research shows that it can also be damaging for people's health.

“Our studies show that night-time aircraft noise can affect your blood pressure instantly and increase the risk of hypertension.”

“Our findings are significant in light of plans to expand international airports.”

People near airports were almost 50 per cent more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and dementia.

Ellen Mason, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Noise pollution may be the latest in a long line of issues that the airline industry needs to tackle.”

However she added that high blood pressure is far more likely to be caused by too much salt in diets, not enough exercise and weight problems.

Is aircraft noise making your blood boil? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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