Yoga lowers blood pressure while cell phone use raises it
Mobile phone calls may cause a rise in blood pressure; yoga may lower it; and despite the need to cut back on sodium to lower blood pressure, hypertensive individuals may have an increased desire for saltier foods.
These are the findings of new studies to be discussed at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) in San Francisco, starting May 15 – 18, 2013.
Members of the medical community from across the globe will discuss the about high blood pressure, considered as the “silent killer,” and which affects approximately one billion people worldwide.
During the conference, more than 200 new studies about hypertension will be shared, with the goal of increasing the understanding of hypertension and one day curing it altogether.
William B. White, MD, ASH President and 2013 Scientific Program Committee Chair added, “The ASH meeting brings together the country`s top scientists in clinical hypertension to give numerous state-of-the-art lectures on a wide variety of topics in hypertension and related clinical concerns.”
According to a recent study from doctors G. Crippa; D. Zabzuni; A. Cassi; and E. Bravi of Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, talking on mobile phones causes a significant rise in blood pressure. During a phone call, blood pressure readings jumped significantly from 121/77 to 129/82.
Systolic blood pressure rise was less drastic in patients who were used to participating in more than 30 phone calls per day. While the reason behind this is not known, Dr. Crippa speculates two possible reasons: “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.”
Yoga calms the mind and works out the body, but now, a study on the effects of yoga on hypertension concluded that yoga could significantly lower blood pressure.
The 24-week study, conducted by Debbie L. Cohen, MD; Anne Bowler, BA and Raymond R. Townsend, MD of the University of Pennsylvania, showed that people who practiced yoga 2 – 3 times per week saw their blood pressure decrease significantly: an average of three points for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, from 133/80 to 130/77.
Participants who only followed a controlled diet—and did not practice yoga—saw only a decrease of one point, from 134/83 to 132/82.
Another study conducted by a team at Sao Paolo University in Brazil also showed that hypertensive individuals actually prefer more salt in their food than do normotensive individuals.