Exposure to loud music may increase risk of tumour

Prolonged exposure to loud noise may increase risk of developing a benign nerve tumour called acoustic neuroma, Swedish researchers said.The tumour, which grows inside the skull, can cause constant ringing in the ears, affect balance and result in deafness. It occurs mainly in people over 50. The researchers studied a population of 3.9 million people covered by Swedish tumour registries and interviewed 146 people with acoustic neuromas. They were compared with a randomly selected control group of 564 people who did not have the tumours. The participants discussed their lifetime exposure to noise exceeding 80 decibels, about the noise level of city traffic. The longer people were exposed to loud noises the more likely they were to develop acoustic neuroma. Compared with those exposed to little noise, people steadily facing construction noise were 1.7 times as likely to have a tumour, and those exposed to screaming children, sports events and noise in restaurants and bars were 1.4 times as likely to be affected. But exposure to loud music presented the greatest risk.