Music and Blood Pressure
Monday, August 18, 2008

Is your blood pressure a bit too high? One study found that listening to music and deep breathing can help. Dr. Ed Hill discusses the study in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Breathing slowly while listening to music for half an hour a day may improve mild hypertension, according to an Italian study.

Researchers tested 28 adults who were taking medication to control mild high blood pressure.

First, the patients wore a device that tracked their blood pressure for 24 hours. Next, the patients were given CDs and instructed to listen to music for 30 minutes per day for a month and to breathe slowly while listening to the music, taking twice as long to exhale as to inhale. At the end of the month, the patients wore the blood pressure monitor again.

When the experiment ended, participantsí average systolic blood pressure had dropped three points, and their average diastolic blood pressure had dropped four points.

For comparison, 20 other patients didnít listen to music or practice slow breathing. Their blood pressure didnít change during the study. Researchers said that it wasnít clear whether the music or slow breathing had more of an effect.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.