NEW ORLEANS, May 23 -- Spending just 30 minutes a day listening to rhythmically homogeneous music -- anything from classical to Celtic to Indian -- has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, researchers found.
Explain to interested patients that this study suggested that spending 30 minutes a day listening to music while doing slow abdominal breathing may lower systolic blood pressure.
Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The key was to combine listening with breathing exercises, said Gianfranco Parati, M.D., of the University of Milan-Bicocca in Milan, Italy.
The music, he said, helps patients concentrate on slow, abdominal breathing with an inspiration/expiration ratio of 1:2.
Dr. Parati presented results of a small, randomized trial at the American Society of Hypertension meeting. Dr. Parati was not, however, an investigator with the study, which was done by Pietro A. Modesti, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Florence, and colleagues. Dr. Modesti was unable to attend the meeting.
The study recruited 48 volunteers, ages 45 to 70, with mild hypertension. All patients were receiving pharmacological treatment.