May 17, 2013
Study Says Cell Phones Raise Blood Pressure, Yoga Brings It Down
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
New research has identified a number of triggers that raise and lower blood pressure, such as talking on cell phones and doing yoga, respectively.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a growing health concern in the US and has mirrored the rise in obesity in recent decades. It affects approximately one billion people worldwide, and one in three adults in the United States. The new research highlights both known and novel hypertension triggers and is being discussed among members of the worldwide medical community at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) in San Francisco. Participants are expected to share more than 200 studies about hypertension.
One group of researchers found that during a phone call, blood pressure readings jumped significantly. In many patients, blood pressure readings spiked from an average of 121/77 to 129/82. The American Heart Association recommends a healthy blood pressure of less than 120/80 for healthy adults age 20 and older.
England´s National Health Service (NHS) organization says that blood pressure below 130/80 is normal, and anything above 140/90 is considered high.
Researchers took 12 blood pressure readings at one minute intervals from 90 patients with mild hypertension, the UK´s Telegraph reported. Blood pressure was read while patients took part in different activities, including receiving phone calls on their cell phone.
While taking more phone calls tended to be worse, researchers found that subjects who get about 30 or more phone calls a day on average seemed to be unaffected by answering a call.
"Systolic blood pressure rise was less drastic in patients who were used to participating in more than 30 phone calls per day," a statement on the report said.
There are two possible reasons for this, Dr. Crippa speculates. "The subset of patients who were more accustomed to phone use were younger, which could show that younger people are less prone to be disturbed by telephone intrusions. Another possibility is that people who make more than 30 calls per day may feel more reassured if the mobile phone is activated since they are not running the risk of missing an opportunity."
Some people who suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension may need to look for ways to reduce their levels. A recent study found that UV rays from sun exposure can actually lower blood pressure.
The report being discussed at the AHS meeting also found that yoga can lower blood pressure. "Yoga calms the mind and works out the body, but now, a study on the effects of yoga on hypertension concluded that yoga can significantly lower blood pressure," a statement from AHS said.
A 24-week study conducted by Debbie L. Cohen, Anne Bowler and Raymond R. Townsend of the University of Pennsylvania showed that people who practiced yoga two or three times per week experienced significant decreases in their blood pressure. The report says blood pressure levels went down an average of three points for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, from 133/77 to 130/77. The study found that yoga is even more effective than a controlled diet in lowering blood pressure, as participants who followed the diet only saw a decrease of one point, on average.