Busy traffic areas can cause hyperactivity in children

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A new study suggests living near a noisy road can lead to hyperactivity in children. Children who were exposed to the highest noise levels at home showed 28 per cent more symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention than those exposed to the lowest traffic noise levels, researchers found.

Michelle Bosquet, a psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, said that noise pollution can have a dramatic effect on children’s behaviour and their mental wellbeing by disturbing sleep or concentration, which are linked to hyperactivity. Researchers led by Carla Tiesler at the Helmholtz Zentrum German Research Center for Environmental Health studied 900 children living in Munic.

Youngsters who lived in the homes with the highest level of noise were more than twice as likely to show unusual emotional behaviour - such as anxiety - than those in the quietest properties.

After researchers considered sleeping problems, they also concluded that difficulty in going to sleep was also responsible for emotional difficulties. The study’s authors considered other factors which can influence behaviour - such as the subjects’ exercise levels - but said that other variables than sleep deprivation and noise could cause ADHD.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Research and comes after a leading U.S doctor believes that many cases of diagnosed ADHD are in fact sleeping disorders in disguise.

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