New research suggests that elderly people living in noisy neighborhoods are at a higher odds of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who are not. This is according to a new study which was published in the journal “Alzheimers & Dementia” by the Alzheimer’s Association. The researchers assessed 5,227 people in 3-year cycles, ages 65 years and older who were participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project. They considered how different factors such as race, sedentary lifestyle, and socioeconomic status affect their risk. The data showed that elderly people living with 10 decibels higher noise in their residence had a higher risk of developing a mild cognitive impairment and a 30% higher risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.

“These findings suggest that within typical urban communities in the United States, higher levels of noise may impact the brains of older adults and make it harder for them to function without assistance”, said the study’s senior author Sara D. Adar of University of Michigan School of Public Health. “This is an important finding since millions of Americans are currently impacted by high levels of noise in their communities”, Adar added. In a 2015 study, researchers found that laboratory rats exposed to chronic noise produce more beta-amyloid, a protein which experts believe to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Noise exposure can cause detrimental health effects – from disrupted sleep to elevated blood pressure, factors that increase dementia risk. The experts hope that this study would be able to persuade lawmakers to make changes in policies to reduce noise levels.