There are many factors that come into play when considering high cholesterol and blood pressure. For example, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, being overweight, smoking, alcohol consumption, and family history.
What you may not expect is that the type of job you do can contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol too, particularly if you have a noisy job.
The study carried out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) uncovered that employees exposed to loud noises are at a high risk for high cholesterol and blood pressure. They found that one-quarter of employees work in a noisy environment.
NIOSH director John Howard explained, “Reducing workplace noise levels is critical not just for hearing loss prevention — it may also impact blood pressure and cholesterol. Work site health and wellness programs that include screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol should also target noise-exposed workers.”
The researchers examined data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey to estimate the prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing difficulty, and heart conditions. The researchers also looked at the relationship that noise exposure has with blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The study revealed that 12 percent of workers currently had hearing difficulties, 24 percent had high blood pressure, and 28 percent had high cholesterol. Of the cases, 58 percent, 14 percent, and nine percent respectively were attributed to noise exposure.
Occupations with the highest prevalence of noise exposure were production, construction and extraction, and installation, maintenance, and repair jobs.
Co-author of the study Liz Masterson concluded, “If noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than five million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could potentially be prevented.”
It’s important that you always take necessary steps to reduce the risk of prolonged noise exposure by wearing earplugs or other protective hearing devices and avoid situations as best as possible where noise exposure will be prolonged. Not only will this benefit your hearing, but it can help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels too.