Saturday, May 12, 2012

And Now... Highway Proximity and Heart Attack Survival

Two days ago, I wrote a post on how commuting distances could affect your health (Does Commute Time Add to Health Risk?) and today's post is on how living close to a highway may make it harder to recover from a heart attack. Maybe I could start a theme on city and country living. ;-)

Have you ever lived near a highway or a busy roadway? I have and it can be stressful. The noise is constant and while you do (sort of) get used to it, it's always present. I've read of studies where living in this type of environment can contribute to high blood pressure as well as stress and anxiety. But there is a new study, published in the May 7th issue of Circulation, that has found that heart attack survivors who live less than 100 metres (328 feet) from a highway have a 27% higher risk of dying within 10 years of their original heart attack, compared with survivors living at least 1,000 meters away. That risk drops  to 13% for those living between 200 and 1,000 metres(656 to 3,277 feet) from the highway.

The important thing to note is that it wasn't just the noise and stress that was found to be the danger, it was the air quality, as people close to high ways are exposed to more particulate matter pollution.

You can read the full study as Circulation has made it available free to the public:

Residential Proximity to Major Roadway and 10-Year All-Cause Mortality After Myocardial Infarction

1 comment:

Unknown said...

As an epidemiologist, I've been aware of the health effects of air pollution since my grad school days, and I've avoided living near freeways for that reason. But in my youth, I once lived a block from a railroad track -- talk about noise and stress! I lasted 2 months before I had to move.