Poor residents living in noisier neighborhoods tend to be healthier than those living in quieter areas, a new study by NYU Langone Medical Center found.
A group of researchers released a study Thursday that suggests there may be a relationship between noisy neighborhoods in New York City and “improvements in body weight and blood pressure for the urban poor living there.”
The researchers observed “relatively lower” body mass index and blood pressure among individuals living in noisier neighborhoods. There were 102 participants, all of whom lived in low-income housing in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The data was collected in June and July of 2014. Noise level was determined based on the number of 311 noise complaints placed in 2014.
People living within a five-block radius with 1,000 noise complaints had a BMI 2.72 points lower than people who lived in neighborhoods that had little or no noise complaints, data shows. Additionally, people in the noisier neighborhoods had an estimated 5.34 drop in systolic blood pressure than people living in the quieter neighborhoods, the study finds.
The study did not specify exactly which neighborhoods the participants live.
Senior study investigator and NYU Langone epidemiologist Dustin Duncan said more research needs to be done to understand the relationship between noise and the health of poor residents.
“We’re not saying that neighborhood noise causes better health,” he said. “It may just be that New York’s noisiest neighborhoods are also the most walkable and that its residents get more exercise that way.”