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Music Listening is a Viable Option to Lower Blood Pressure

Armen Hareyan's picture

To some people, listening to music may just be a hobby, but to people with high blood pressure (hypertension), it could be a way to help them lower their blood pressure.

A study by the University of Florence in Italy reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans in May 2008 that people with mild hypertension had their blood pressure significantly reduced by listening to classical, Celtic or India (raga) music for 30 minutes a day for a month.

Listening to music could be soothing. It has already been associated with controlling patient with pain or anxiety and was reported acutely reducing blood pressure. For the very first time, however, daily music listening does show an impact on ambulatory blood pressure. Ambulatory blood pressure refers to readings taken repeatedly over the course of a day.

The researchers enrolled 48 adults who aged 45 to 70 and took medication for controlling mild hypertension into the study. These participants were divided into 2 groups. The first consisted of 28 who listened to 30 minutes of 'rhythmically homogeneous' classical, Celtic or raga music on a daily basis while practicing slow and controlled breathing exercises. The remaining 20 participants were put in the control group and no changes were made on their daily routine.

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

The statistics in the current study indicated that something as simple, easy and enjoyable as daily music listening combining with slow abdominal breathing might help people naturally lower their blood pressure.

The health experts have predicted that some 56 billion people worldwide will be hypertensive by 2025, despite the global focus on prevention. People with high blood pressure are known to have a higher risk of getting heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, etc.

As such, the new findings would instill confidence to health professionals who could explore music listening as a safe, effective, and non-pharmacological treatment option or a complement to the prevailing therapy.

Reported by Heart Diseqse Prevention Blog.