A European study presented in the European Heart Journal conducted on over 41,000 people has found that people living with loud traffic noise and breathing polluted air could be increasing their risk of high blood pressure to a level similar with being overweight.

No participants had hypertension at the start of the study, say the authors, but during the follow-up period, over 6,200 people (15 per cent) reported that they had developed hypertension or began taking blood pressure-reducing medicines.