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Stroke: Exposure to traffic noise may increase risk – millions exposed to unhealthy levels

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Symptoms of stroke manifest differently depending on which part of the brain is affected, but overarching warning signs include sudden numbness and confusion. Environmental factors, such as diet are understood to be the main driving forces behind the disease. Researchers have highlighted a host of other risk factors in recent years, however. Traffic noise could predispose individuals to an attack by elevating pressure in the blood.

A recent study conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that nearly 60 million adults are subjected to unhealthy levels of traffic noise.

The authors noted: “Our results provide, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of European cities and a clearer understanding of why transport-generated noise is the second major environmental case of adverse health outcomes in western European.

“Even so, we are convinced that the true health impact of traffic noise is much greater, as the lack of city-level data limits the health effects we can assess.”

Previous research has linked environmental noise to a range of adverse health effects, including sleep disturbances, annoyances, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, adverse birth outcomes, cognitive impairment, poor mental health and well-being.

READ MORE: Cancer: Up to 70% of cancer patients experience dyspnoea – the ‘frightening’ symptom

Long-term exposure, however, could increase the risk of other deadly ailments like stroke.

An early 2011 study probing the link between road traffic noise and stroke found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise, the risk of having a stroke increased 14 percent overall, based on findings data gathered for more than 51,000 people.

Researchers have previously speculated that the increase in stroke risk from noise population could be attributed to an elevation in blood pressure, which is a known precursor for stroke risk.

High blood pressure is notoriously damaging the inner lining of the blood vessels, causing arteries to narrow over time.

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The American Stroke Association explained: “About 87 percent of strokes are caused by narrowed or clogged blood vessels in the brain that cut off the blood flow to brain cells.”

In previous research, scientists have shown that blood pressure is raised when organs and systems in the body are modified by noise.

This elevation in blood pressure specifically is induced by vasoconstriction – or constriction of blood vessels.

A 2016 study published in the European Heart Journal, found that people who lived on noisy streets, where there were average night time noise levels of 50 decibels, had a six percent higher chance of developing high blood pressure compared to those living on quieter streets.

The findings were later echoed in a 2021 study published in the journal of Environmental Health, where researchers found that long-term exposure to traffic was positively associated with the risk of overall stroke.

The findings of the latter study changed after researchers adjusted for air pollution, however.

Evidence remains mixed, as studies conducted in Netherlands, Sweden and Germany show no association between road traffic noise and stroke incidence.

And due to the epidemiological nature of the aforementioned studies, no causal effect can be confirmed.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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High cholesterol: Blood pressure drug linked to significant reduction in good cholesterol

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“Though they’re commonly used to treat different forms of heart disease, beta-blockers can significantly reduce HDL levels.”

Among the beta-blockers that cause this are Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol).

These drugs are widely used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack and high blood pressure.

But despite concerns about their effect on cholesterol, scientists stress that the benefits of beta-blockers far outweigh the risks.

VeryWell Health adds: “If your beta-blocker affects your cholesterol significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.”



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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez not on same page over Saudi Arabia GP after missile attack

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However, after a four-hour meeting between race officials and the teams, it was confirmed the race would go ahead despite the attack. It had been reported that a number of the competing drivers were concerned for their safety following the nearby explosion.

Despite this, an agreement was finally reached to race at 2:30am local time, after team chiefs left the lengthy meeting to confirm: “We will be racing.” A statement from Formula 1 confirmed Sunday’s race would go ahead as planned. It read: “Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed views on whether the race should go ahead, and this is clearly apparent in the Red Bull setup. This comes after advisor Helmut Marko revealed that drivers Verstappen and Perez are not on the same page when it comes to racing.

JUST IN: F1 drivers ‘had concerns’ about Saudi Arabia GP as new details emerge after missile attack

On the issue, Marko told Sky Germany: “Max is a bit more relaxed about it. Perez is a little bit scared, but when you live in Mexico City there’s not much more security. We have the pandemic, we have the war in Europe and now we have a missile attack 20 kilometres away. This is no longer normal or pleasant.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race though, the Austrian advisor is firmly on the side of Verstappen and the race officials, supporting the idea of the race taking place. He commented: “I really think it’s the right thing to do. As I said, these drone attacks are common, I think. They have a very good defence system. Why this one didn’t work remains to be seen. It’s not the first drone, after all. But it’s the first one to strike on such a scale.”

The attack took place during Friday’s first practice session, and it was Red Bull’s star man Verstappen who was one of the first to realise something was wrong after reporting on his team radio that he could ‘smell burning’. Initially, the Dutchman thought the smell was coming from either his or one of his rival’s cars, however it then became clear that an explosion had taken place just a few miles from the track.

Giving an insight into Verstappen’s initial worries, Marko said: “Max radioed us, he thought his car had caught fire because there was an intense burning smell. We were informed a drone had been sent from Yemen. The Saudis have a defence system and for some reason the drone was not intercepted.”



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