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New Study Shows Loud Noise On the Job Linked to High Cholesterol, Blood Pressure

A recent study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) discovered that workers who are exposed to loud noise while on the job face a greater risk of high cholesterol and hypertension, two key factors that can lead to heart disease.

NIOSH looked into the data of almost 23,000 workers collected in the National Health Interview Survey back in 2014. Through this study, researchers looked into how prevalent heart conditions, hearing troubles, and noise exposure were to different industries in the country. Researchers also looked into potential connections between heart disease and noise exposure, and found that there is a clear link between noise exposure at work and high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Researchers also found that:

  • Industries with the greatest level of noise exposure were mining, followed by the construction industry and manufacturing.
  • People who work in production are exposed to the highest levels of noise exposure, closely followed by construction workers, extraction workers, and installation, maintenance, and repair workers.
  • Noise on the job contributed to 58 percent of cases where the worker had trouble hearing, 14 percent of cases where the worker had high blood pressure, and nine percent of cases where the worker had high cholesterol.
“This study provides further evidence of an association of occupational noise exposure with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the potential to prevent these conditions if noise is reduced,” Elizabeth Masterson, study lead author and NIOSH epidemiologist, said in a March 21 press release. “It is important that workers be screened regularly for these conditions in the workplace or through a health care provider so interventions can occur. As these conditions are more common among noise-exposed workers, they could especially benefit from these screenings.”

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