Traffic noise and dementia

Can the noisy traffic outside your home increase your risk of getting dementia ?

Possibly yes.

A study from Denmark looked at “exposure to road traffic and railway noise” and “risk of dementia” in later life.

They found “traffic noise” is associated with risk of dementia.

A word of caution though!

This study does NOT conclusively prove that noise caused dementia. In science, association does not prove causation.

It is known that some people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia in later life.

It is possible that people with hearing loss were NOT bothered with traffic noise and carried on living in places with traffic noise.

On the other hand, people with good hearing were bothered by traffic noise and moved away from areas with traffic noise to live in a quieter area with less traffic noise.

This natural human behaviour could have affected the results of this study from Denmark

So, it may appear, at first glance, that traffic noise caused dementia. But deeper examination shows that the results of Denmark study are not conclusive and more confirmatory studies are needed.

References

Residential exposure to transportation noise in Denmark and incidence of dementia: national cohort study
BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1954 (Published 09 September 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1954

Dementia.org: The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Dementia

NHS blog. Keeping your ear to the ground on dementia

Hearing loss and the connection to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia
By American Heart Association News.

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.