Stress from Toxicity

Stress from Toxicity
Researchers followed about 5,000 postmenopausal women. The women who lived within about 100 yards to a highway had a 22 percent higher risk of hypertension compared to those who lived at least a half-mile away. Researchers suggested greater exposure to traffic related pollution, noise and stress as potential causes.

In 2012, a study published in Circulation found that heart attack survivors who resided less than 328 feet from major highways had a 27 percent higher death rate over 10 years compared to those that lived at least 3,280 feet away. Again, the researchers cited air pollution, noise and stress as possible explanations.

Another study in Circulation found that women who reside near highways run a greater risk of sudden cardiac death. The women who lived within 164 feet of a highway had a 38 percent higher risk of sudden cardiac death compared to women who lived more than one-third of a mile away. Plus, for every 328 feet closer to the highway, there was a 6 percent increase in risk of death.

In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that men and women who lived closer to a highway had higher rates of stroke as well as poorer kidney function.

In 2013, researchers published a study in the medical journal Diabetologia that analyzed the effect of traffic exposure on 400 children over age 10. They found a disturbing connection between traffic-related air pollution and insulin resistance, the precursor to Type II diabetes. For every increment of 1,640 feet closer to a highway, the children had a 7 percent greater risk of developing insulin resistance.

Finally, a 2007 Harvard study evaluated 202 Boston-area children with an average age of 10 years. Children who lived and attended school in areas with higher traffic scored an average of four points lower in IQ tests.

Getting away from unhealthy cities and back in touch with nature might be the single best solution for health, sanity and fate of the country itself, as long envisioned by Thomas Jefferson’s concept of a healthy, agrarian democracy.