Aircraft Noise Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease


The findings of a recent study by the British Medical Council indicate that risks of stroke, heart and circulatory disease are higher in areas with an excess of aircraft noise pollution.

Heathrow Airport Noise

The small study area focused on 12 London Boroughs and 9 districts west of London. All of the areas were known to be exposed to aircraft noise related to Heathrow airport and its associated flight paths. Risks were found to be 10-20% higher for the 3.6 million people surveyed

Heathrow airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and is situated in a densely populated area in west London. The reports have shown a link between aircraft noise – especially at night, with hypertension, increased blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease in the populations living near airports.

Higher Risks from Aircraft Noise

Researchers from Imperial and Kings College London carried out the analyses, which compared rates of hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease, along with mortality in neighbourhoods exposed to different levels of aircraft noise. The Council’s report suggests a higher risk for both hospital admissions and deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease for roughly 70,000 people (2% of the study) who lived where the aircraft noise was loudest (above 63 decibels) and who were affected by the highest levels of daytime and night time aircraft noise.

The research stressed that the higher risk of illness related to aircraft noise remained much less significant than the risks from lifestyle factors – including smoking, a lack of exercise or poor diet.

Acoustic Consultants

REC’s acoustic consultants ensure current noise regulations are adhered to, and are specialists in the provision of noise surveys and noise impact assessments for all noise and vibration requirements.

Our qualified team use the latest instruments and methodology to allow us to determine precisely what adverse noise impact or noise exposures are present at locations such as the surrounding Boroughs to Heathrow Airport.

All REC acoustic engineers are members of the Institute of Acoustics and all noise surveys provide the basis for detailed analytical assessment and can be used to fulfil contractual or regulatory demands for clients in both public and private sectors for noise assessment or acoustic testing.

For further information please contact your local office or contact us online.