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Our Better Health

BY ROXANNE NELSON

(Reuters Health) – People with long-term exposure to loud noise at work or in leisure activities may be at increased risk of heart disease, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers found the strongest link in working-age people with high-frequency hearing loss, which is typically the result of chronic noise exposure.

“Compared with people with normal high-frequency hearing, people with bilateral high-frequency hearing loss were approximately two times more likely to have coronary heart disease,” said lead author Dr. Wen Qi Gan of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington.

Past research has already linked noise exposure, especially in workplaces, to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and other illnesses, Gan and his colleagues write in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. But many of these studies lacked individual information about actual noise exposure, relying instead on average decibel levels in the person’s environment.

High-frequency hearing loss, the…

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