The Medical Effects of Noise Pollution

Other than Noise Induced Hearing Loss, there are many more health effects of noise pollution that may not be as well known.

Cardiovascular Disease

Noise pollution can lead to chronic stress that can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Starting at 50 decibels, each 10 decibel increase in noise pollution causes the risk of cardiovascular disease to increase by 8%. These high noise levels are usually associated with road and air traffic. Noise pollution activates the sympathetic nervous system causing the increased release of stress hormones that in turn promote oxidative stress and inflammatory processes which lead to vascular and epithelial dysfunction.


For every 5 decibels, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 6%. The increased stress from noise pollution increases stress hormones that can lead to insulin resistance and issues with metabolism after long term exposure.

Pregnancy and Birth

Besides the above health conditions possibly affecting pregnancy, noise pollution can also affect birth weight and fetal growth. Long-term exposure can make the fetus too small for their age (stage of pregnancy) and decrease their birth weight. This occurs because noise pollution can disrupt sleep and once again increase stress. An increase in stress hormones can delay fetal growth, as well as lack of sleep (or adequate sleep).

Stress: The Determining Factor

Every single one of the above medical effects of noise pollution can be tracked back to stress as the cause. It is important to be aware of how noise pollution affects your stress levels so that you can better monitor your health!


“Impact of noise and air pollution on pregnancy outcomes,”

“The Cardiovascular Effects of Noise Pollution,”

“Traffic noise might increase diabetes, blood pressure risks,””Association between noise exposure and diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis,”