Hypertension and heart disease are global health concerns. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the growth of the processed food industry has increased the amount of salt in diets worldwide, and that this plays one role in this disease.
Medical guidelines define hypertension as a blood pressure higher than 130 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), according to guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) in November 2017.
Around 85 million people in the United States suffer from high blood pressure.
Hypertension: Recent Study Results
Hypertension drugs work much better when paired with pleasant music, researchers reported in a recent study.
Combining soothing music with hypertension drugs lowers the heart rate and blood pressure of people with hypertension. Their results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Previous studies suggested that music can lower the blood pressure, reduce the heart rate, and ease the distress of people living with heart conditions.
Participants took their medicine, then listened to music for 60 minutes using earphones. The next day, they took their medication as usual, but they sat in silence with the earphones turned off for the same amount of time.
The songs included included instrumental piano versions of Adele’s “Someone Like You” and “Hello,” as well as an instrumental version of “Amazing Grace” by Chris Tomlin and “Watermark” by Enya.
The team took heart rate variability measurements at 20, 40, and 60 minutes after participants took their blood pressure medication.
Results showed that heart rates of the music-listening participants dropped significantly 60 minutes after taking blood pressure medication. On the day they did not listen to music, the heart rates did not slow down at all.
The researchers suggest that music slows down the parasympathetic nervous system which controls heart rate and blood pressure.