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A Noisy Workplace Might Affect Your Heart Rate.

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Millions of people are exposed to excessive noise at work, finds a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This affects not only their hearing, but also their heart health.

In the United States, around 22 million workers “are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year,” say the U.S. Department of Labor.

So far, workplace noise has mostly been viewed as a hazard for hearing, with $242 million being spent every year to compensate individuals for hearing loss caused by work conditions.

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Now, a study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — which forms part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — reveals that loud noise in the workplace is also associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The results of the research, which was undertaken by Elizabeth Masterson and colleagues from the NIOSH, are now published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

“Reducing workplace noise levels is critical not just for hearing loss prevention — it may also impact blood pressure and cholesterol,” says Dr. John Howard, director of the NIOSH.

That is why, he urges, “Worksite health and wellness programs that include screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol should also target noise-exposed workers.”

Noise at work is a real health hazard

High cholesterol and high blood pressure, or hypertension, are officially listed as top risk factors for heart disease, and the CDC note that about 610,000 people die because of heart-related problems each year.

By lowering the presence of relevant risk factors, the risk of heart disease decreases. That is why it is so important to understand what situations could affect exposure to these risks.

In the new study, the scientists worked with data sourced from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, so they could get an understanding of:

  • how many people were exposed to excessive noise in the workplace on a regular basis

  • how many people had a hearing-related condition

  • how many people lived with a heart condition

After analyzing the data, Masterson and her colleagues found that 25 percent of workers had been exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise during their work history. Also, 14 percent of current workers had been exposed to excessive noise at work over the past 12 months.

The scientists also discovered that 12 percent of workers reported a hearing-related problem, while 24 percent of workers had hypertension, and 28 percent exhibited high cholesterol. Among those with hearing problems, 58 percent had acquired these issues due to exposure to high noise levels in the workplace.

More surprisingly, many individuals with high blood pressure or high cholesterol also reported noise exposure. Thus, 14 out of 24 percent of the workers with hypertension, and 9 out of 28 percent of those with high cholesterol, had acquired these conditions in noisy workplaces.

Of the industries with the highest exposure to potentially damaging levels of noise, the researchers name mining, construction, and manufacturing as the top three, with 61 percent, 51 percent, and 47 percent occupational noise prevalence, respectively.

When it comes to occupations, those with the highest prevalence of exposure to excessive noise are: production (at 55 percent), construction and extraction (at 54 percent), and installation, maintenance, and repair (all at 54 percent).

“A significant percentage of the workers we studied have hearing difficulty, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that could be attributed to noise at work,” Masterson notes.

“If noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than 5 million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could potentially be prevented,” she adds.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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