Here’s everything we know.

Dementia effects more than 55 million people per year and the number is projected to keep increasing in the future. A recent study has found that being exposed to traffic noises can increase the risk of developing dementia. Noise pollution has also been linked to many other health conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

Research has shown that fragmented sleep caused by noise pollution such as traffic can increase the risk of one developing dementia. The research had nearly two million participants and were all significantly exposed to heavy traffic during the night. During the research period over 100,000 new cases of dementia occurred, and nearly all participants showed early signs of dementia.

The authors of the study did note that more individuals that live in suburban areas have a higher risk of developing dementia rather than those who live in urban environments due to the difference in sound insulation in buildings. There were also other limitations to the study such as lifestyle, workplace, and other habits a participant could have. For those reasons the authors of the study could not confirm nor deny that dementia is a direct cause of noise pollution.