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The World in Medicine
November 17, 2010

Flight Risk

JAMA. 2010;304(19):2116. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1668

Persons exposed to high levels of noise from aircraft flying overhead are at an increased risk of dying of myocardial infarction, according to a new study from scientists at the University of Bern in Switzerland (Huss A et al. Epidemiology. 2010;21[6]:829-836).

The researchers analyzed government and environmental records and data from the Swiss National Cohort longitudinal study on mortality that provides detailed information (including the deaths of 15 532 people from myocardial infarction) for 4.6 million adults older than 30 years in Switzerland between 2000 and 2005. Because both transportation noise and air pollution have been associated with myocardial infarction, the study took both into account, using models of geospatial noise and air pollution and distance to major roads to determine the study population's exposure to these factors.