Neighborhood Noise and BMI (04-10-17)

Researchers studied ties between neighborhood noise levels and body mass index.  Their study “links the sounds of all-night car horn blasts and shouting by bar revelers in New York City’s noisiest neighborhoods to unexplained improvements in body weight and blood pressure for the urban poor living there. ‘To be clear, we’re not saying that neighborhood noise causes better health, and a lot of further research is needed to explain the relationship we found between this kind of disturbance and health,’ says senior study investigator and NYU Langone epidemiologist Dustin Duncan, ScD. ‘It may just be that New York’s noisiest neighborhoods are also the most walkable and that its residents get more exercise that way.’ . . . Specifically, researchers observed relatively lower body mass index (or BMI, a measure of body weight by height) and blood pressure among . . . men and women in the city’s noisiest neighborhoods.  All . . .  participants . . . lived in affordable public housing. . . . Researchers gauged noise levels based on . . . noise complaints placed to the city’s 3-1-1 non-emergency phone system in 2014. . . . participants volunteered to carry GPS tracking devices for a week to track in real time where they spent their spare time.”  The study reporting these findings is published in the Journal of Community Health.

“Could New York Neighborhood Noise Be Good for Poor Residents?”  2017.  Press release, NYU Langone Medical Center,