Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mobile calls increase the risk of hypertension

Talking on a mobile phone for 30 minutes or more a week leads to a 12% increased risk of high blood pressure compared to less than 30 minutes. This is the result of research carried out over 12 years in the United Kingdom with more than 200,000 volunteers between the ages of 37 and 73 and published by the European Society of Cardiology.

Instead, the good news is that years of cell phone use or use of a hands-free system did not influence the likelihood of developing high blood pressure.

Therefore, according to this team of scientists, more human trials are needed to “confirm the findings.”

But what is clear is that the amount of usage time does matter, because “more minutes means higher risk,” warns the lead author of this research, Professor Xianhui Qin, who works at Guangzhou Southern Medical University. , in China.

Three out of four people over the age of ten around the world own a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, almost 1.3 billion adults aged 30 to 79 worldwide also have high blood pressure, and this is a major risk factor for serious diseases like stroke and heart attack, because they are two of the leading causes of premature death in everyone.

Mobile phones emit low levels of radiofrequency energy and previous studies had already linked this to increases in blood pressure, even after brief exposure.

scientific news

This new research has looked at the relationship between making and receiving phone calls and new-onset hypertension.

To this end, the researchers used data from 212,046 adults ages 37 to 73 without hypertension.

Information on the use of a mobile phone to make and receive calls was collected through a self-reported touchscreen questionnaire at baseline, including years of use, hours per week, and use of a hands-free device/ speaker phone.

The researchers analyzed the relationship between mobile phone use and new-onset hypertension after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, race, deprivation, family history of hypertension, education, smoking status, blood pressure, blood lipids, inflammation, blood glucose, kidney function, and the use of medications to lower cholesterol or blood glucose levels.

The average age of the participants was 54 years. 62% were women and 88% were mobile phone users. During a median follow-up of 12 years, 13,000 (7%) participants developed hypertension.

Mobile phone users had a 7% increased risk of hypertension compared to non-users. Those who talked on their mobile phones for 30 minutes or more per week were 12% more likely to have new-onset high blood pressure than participants who spent less than 30 minutes on phone calls.

And the results were similar for women and men.

Looking at the findings in more detail, compared to participants who spent less than 5 minutes per week making or receiving mobile phone calls, weekly usage time of 30-59 minutes, 1-3 hours, 4-6 hours and more. 6 hours was associated with an 8%, 13%, 16%, and 25% increased risk of high blood pressure, respectively.

Among mobile phone users, years of use and use of a hands-free/speakerphone device were not significantly associated with the development of hypertension.

genetic risk

The researchers also examined the relationship between wear time (less than 30 minutes vs. 30 minutes or more) and new-onset hypertension based on whether participants had a low, intermediate, or high genetic risk of developing hypertension. Genetic risk was determined using data from the UK Biobank.

The analysis showed that those with high genetic risk who spent at least 30 minutes a week talking on a mobile phone were more likely to develop high blood pressure: they were 33% more likely to have hypertension compared to those with low genetic risk. who spent at least 30 minutes a week talking on the phone.

Therefore, the advice of this team of researchers is not to call by mobile for more than half an hour a week.

“Our findings suggest that talking on a mobile phone may not affect the risk of developing high blood pressure as long as weekly calling time is kept below half an hour,” concludes Professor Qin.

According to these scientists, more research is still needed to replicate these results, but, until then, “it seems prudent to keep mobile phone calls to a minimum to preserve heart health.”


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