A report featured by the Spanish traffic department, the DGT, reveals that scientific research conducted jointly by the Carlos III Institute of Health, the Higher Council for Scientific Research and the Autonomous University of Madrid, demonstrates a close relationship between noise and mortality from diabetes.
Researchers studied the noise levels caused by traffic in the city of Madrid between 2001 and 2009, and revealed that the key behind this relationship is a hormone called Cortisol, a glucocorticoid steroid hormone, produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex, which is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoid. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, suppress the immune system, and aid the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.
Julio Díaz, lead scientist at the national school of health based in the Carlos III Institute, says that whilst the body is asleep in a noisy environment, it reacts by releasing Cortisol into the bloodstream, along with other compounds, resulting in a greater amount of this hormone in the blood, and the increased risk of diabetes.
The study not only concludes that noise is associated with diabetes, but also links it to mortality from the disease. “After a peak of noise, in two or three days we notice a peak in mortality from diabetes, especially in those over 65 years”, says Díaz, concluding that “if the noise levels during sleep were just 0.5 decibels lower, it would prevent about 350 deaths per year in the over 65 age group in the city of Madrid alone”.
Of course, although the study was conducted using traffic as part of the data collection, noise in general can be a contributing factor, such as that from bars, clubs, parties, concerts, sports fixtures and even snoring, which can all lead to a potential increase in mortality.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44667/
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