Hypertension

19 May 2008

Music lowers blood pressure

Listening to half an hour of music each day may significantly lower your blood pressure, according to recent research.

0
Listening to half an hour of music each day may significantly lower your blood pressure, according to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans recently.

In the study, researchers found that people with mild hypertension (high blood pressure) who listened to classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music for just 30 minutes a day for one month had significant reductions in their blood pressure.

"Listening to music is soothing and has often been associated with controlling patient-reported pain or anxiety and acutely reducing blood pressure," said study investigator Dr Pietro A. Modesti, of the University of Florence in Italy.

"But for the first time, today's results clearly illustrate the impact daily music listening has on ambulatory blood pressure." Ambulatory blood pressure refers to readings taken repeatedly over the course of a day.

How the study was done
A total of 48 adults ages 45 - 70 who were taking medication to control mild hypertension took part in the study. Of these, 28 listened to 30 minutes of "rhythmically homogenous" classical, Celtic or raga music daily while practicing slow, controlled breathing exercises. The remaining 20 participants, serving as the control group, made no changes to their daily routine.

Blood pressure readings obtained one and four weeks later showed that systolic blood pressure - the top number in the blood pressure reading - dropped significantly in the music listeners. In contrast, the control group experienced only small, non-significant reductions in blood pressure.

"We are excited about the positive implications for both patients and physicians, who can now confidently explore music listening as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological treatment option or a complement to therapy," Modesti said.

"Sadly, despite the global focus on prevention, it is predicted that 56 billion people worldwide will be hypertensive by 2025," Modesti added. "In light of these devastating statistics, it is reassuring to consider that something as simple, easy and enjoyable as daily music listening combined with slow abdominal breathing, may help people naturally lower their blood pressure." – (Reuters Health, May 2008)

Read more:
Music speeds stroke recovery
Music enhances verbal skills

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Hypertension expert

Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules