factory worker wearing protective ear muffs noisy workplace

A noisy workplace is bad for your heart

The main risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol and hypertension or high blood pressure.

1.2 million Australians are affected by heart disease and one Australian dies every 27 minutes due to heart-related conditions.

If risk factors are lowered, then the risk of heart disease decreases.

That’s why its important to understand and know all the risk factors for heart disease.

The researchers named mining, construction and manufacturing as the top three industries with damaging noise levels at 61 percent, 52 percent and 47 percent occupational noise prevalence respectively.

Noise is related to many health-related issues but mainly to hearing problems.

Millions of people are exposed to excessive noise in the workplace which not only affects their hearing but also their blood pressure and cholesterol levels according to a new study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

In this new study researchers analysed data which was sourced from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers wanted to understand how many people were exposed to excessive noise in the workplace, how many people had hearing-related conditions and how many people had a heart condition.

The researchers found that 25 percent of the people had been exposed to excessive noise levels in the workplace during their work history. 14 percent of current workers were exposed to excessive noise at work in the past 12 months.

12 percent of the workers had reported hearing–related problems while 24 percent had hypertension.  28 percent of the workers had high cholesterol.

Among those who had hearing-related issues, 58 percent had acquired these problems during their time working in dangerous levels of noise at their workplace.

Many individuals who reported high blood pressure or hypertension also reported noise exposure.

14 out of 24 percent of the workers with hypertension, and 9 out of 28 percent of those with high cholesterol, had developed these conditions in noisy workplaces.

The researchers named mining, construction and manufacturing as the top three industries with damaging noise levels at 61 percent, 52 percent and 47 percent occupational noise prevalence respectively.

The highest prevalence of noise in an occupation were production (55 percent), construction and extraction (54 percent), and installation, maintenance, and repair (54 percent).

The study showed that a significant percentage of the workers had hearing-related issues and also hypertension and high cholesterol which can all be contributed to exposure to excessive noise levels at work.

Thus it is important to screen workers regularly not only for hearing problems but also heart-related conditions so that proper intervention can be taken.

Reducing workplace noise will not only reduce hearing problems but also reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Source: American Journal of Industrial Medicine

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

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