The Association Between Noise Pollution and Heart Disease
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Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States and the world for decades. It is therefore a highly researched topic as scientists, healthcare professionals, government organizations and individuals are all seeking to understand the risk factors and preventative measures associated with cardiovascular disease. It is generally understood that many of these factors are dependent on lifestyle choices such as eating habits and physical activity. New research suggests that noise pollution is a significant contributing factor to heart disease as well. Noise pollution is associated with increased irritability and stress levels in individuals, and it is also known to disrupt sleep patterns. All of these factors affect the structure and function of the cardiovascular system, and it is therefore valuable to research this phenomenon further. This study explores the relationship between noise pollution and heart disease in New York City using 311 noise complaints as a metric for noise. This project uses data from the New York City 311 and New York City EMS databases to evaluate the association between 311 noise complaints and cardiac-related EMS calls in New York City neighborhoods. The hypothesis is that heart disease, measured by number of cardiac-related EMS calls, is more prevalent in noisier zip codes. The majority of the data cleansing and analysis is done in Python and Awk on the Linux operating system, and the statistical analysis is done in R. This project analyzes the statistical significance of the association between noise level and number of cardiac calls in New York City neighborhoods using regression analysis and hypothesis testing. The research and analysis show that there is some positive relationship between noise level and the number of cardiac calls in New York City neighborhoods, and that noise level is a significant predictor of cardiac calls at the 0.05, 0.01 and 0.001 levels.
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