Can exposure to high noise levels increase the levels of hypertension? A study published by a group of Chinese scientists in the journal PLOS One found a positive association between occupational noise and high levels of hypertension.
The team was studying the association between bilateral high-frequency hearing loss and blood pressure. The study was based on the occupational diseases survey of Chengdu, a key study on the health of occupational workers in Chengdu, China. For this study, the team picked up 21,403 workers who were exposed to high occupational noise. The survey studies the effect of various factors like coal dust, asbestos, benzene, silica dust, noise, lead, and Brucella.
Workers with many years of occupational noise exposure and hearing loss were found to have a significant rise in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The association was stronger in males with increased exposure increasing the risk for hypertension. Furthermore, the risk of hypertension increases with the level of hearing loss.