Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of older adults in the US—but not equally. Past research has identified risk factors including genes, education, racism, and air pollution, and a growing number of studies now point to noise as another influence on risk of dementia.
Now, a new study co-led by a School of Public Health researcher finds that 10 decibels more daytime neighborhood noise is associated with 36 percent higher odds of mild cognitive impairment and 30 percent higher odds of Alzheimer’s disease.
Published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the study is the first of its kind in the US.
“We remain in early stages in researching noise and dementia, but the signals so far, including those from our study, suggest we should pay more attention to the possibility that noise affects cognitive risk as we age,” says study first author Jennifer Weuve, associate professor of epidemiology.
4 responses to “Neighborhood Noise May Increase Dementia Risk”
This a great and well-researched post. The correlation of neighborhood noise levels with dementia indeed has huge implications not just for the older people living in the United States but also others living in urban settings globally. The new revelation will certainly play a critical role in reducing dementia prevalence among older adults in the future.
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Thanks for your kind words.
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Too surprising and disturbing. I just moved pretty near highway and first week or so I found it very disturbing period fortunately my brain is attenuated a bit though it still is irritating more so at night when there’s a lot of trucks. Also the sound and heat insulation in this old House are pretty bad so that doesn’t help. That and I have very excellent hearing period so I just tried to distract have music or ignore it. One would think that the air pollution from the highway would be more of a factor but noise pollution is definitely a public health threat. They’re building expensive apartments right on this highway and I don’t see how anybody can live right next to it. Of course as you get older and have hearing loss, that could be an okay place. But not if it’s going to give you Alzheimer’s. Anyway thanks for posting this article . Something else to worry about. The good news is that in 6 months my lease is up so hopefully I can find somewhere quieter again.
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Thanks for sharing, Dude. Very interesting. Maybe after a little more time you won’t really ‘hear it’ any more. The body makes interesting compensations.