Living In The City Affects Your Health More Than You Think

City living can be fast-paced, exciting, and full of conveniences not found anywhere else. From the plethora of dining and entertainment options to the ease of using widespread public transportation, cosmopolitan life definitely has its advantages. But some experts are warning that the drawbacks to living in an urban center may actually outweigh the benefits.

All of the advantages of city living tend to drive up population density. With a large number of people residing in a small radius, certain problems are bound to be magnified. For example, traffic in cities tends to be heavier and the number of cars per square mile greater. Because of this, air pollution can be a big problem.

The risk of having a heart attack or stroke increases with more exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides found in exhaust from vehicles and power plant emissions (via NIEHS). Some studies have even shown a significant increase in the lung disease emphysema among people living in cities (via JAMA). Increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and poor mental health were also linked to urban dwelling (via The List).

Vibrant soundscape or health hazard?

But air pollution isn't the only health risk you may face by living in a city. Noise pollution can also have negative effects on your well being. Cars honking, planes flying over, and even trains passing through can increase the ambient noise to dangerous levels. Researchers believe this danger may be linked to the production of cortisol and noradrenaline, two stress hormones that can cause inflammation and poor sleep, among other problems.

Blood pressure can also increase as a result of chronic exposure to louder than average noises in a city. This can put stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart issues such as heart attacks. And while all of these possible health risks are concerning, they don't affect everyone in the same way. If you're concerned about loud noises damaging your health, consider taking measures to dampen the noise or even cover it up with white noise.