Everyday Noise Levels May Affect the Heart
THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Even the minor noise that fills everyday life, from the ring of a cell phone to the conversation that follows, may have short-term effects on heart function, a small new study suggests.
In the study of 110 adults equipped with portable heart monitors, researchers found that people's heart rate tended to climb as their noise exposure increased -- even when the noise remained below 65 decibels. That's about as loud as a normal conversation or laughter.
There was also a negative impact on people's heart rate "variability" -- a measure of the heart's adaptation to what is going on around you. Greater variability in the interval between heartbeats is better. When people are relaxed, the space between heartbeats is usually a bit longer as they exhale, and shorter as they inhale.
When people are stressed, however, some of that natural variation is lost. And studies have linked lesser heart rate variability to an increased risk of heart attack.Read entire article...