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Can loud noises lead to heart attacks?

Research shows exposure to loud noise connects to heart attack risk

You probably know that smoking, obesity and not exercising can lead to heart disease.

But researchers have uncovered a new risk factor -- and you might want to turn your TV volume down after you read this report. 

Could loud noises make you more likely to have a heart attack? A new study found exposure to loud noise may increase your risk of developing the No. 1 killer in the U.S. 

“Fully half of the people that are going to die in America are going to die of cardiovascular disease and that includes heart attacks, it includes strokes," said Dr. Jeff Schussler, with Baylor Scott and White Health.

Researchers studied 500 people for five years. During this time, 40 of the participants had a cardiovascular event. Those with the highest levels of noise exposure had more than a three times greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other heart-related incident. The loud noise group also had more inflammation in their arteries. 

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Exposure to loud noise can also lead to permanent hearing loss and ringing in your ears. It can cause physical and psychological stress and increase your risk for workplace accidents or injuries. So if you want to protect your health, try protecting your ears. 

While loud noise is a somewhat surprising risk for heart problems, another unusual sign is creased earlobes. Several studies have shown a link between creased earlobes and plaque buildup in your arteries.