- A new study from Southern Medical University in China found that talking on a mobile phone, even for a short time, can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
- The study analyzed 212,046 adults aged 37 to 73 who were free of hypertension at the start and were tracked for an average of 12 years.
- The risk of high blood pressure increased as the weekly usage time increased, and those with a high genetic risk had a 33% higher risk.
A recent study by researchers at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China has suggested that using a mobile phone for as little as 30 minutes a week, even hands-free, can raise the risk of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is known to be a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.
The study, published on May 5, 2023 in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health, analyzed 212,046 adults between the ages of 37 and 73 years who were initially without hypertension and were tracked for an average of 12 years.
The researchers found that participants who spoke on their mobile phones for more than 30 minutes per week were 12% more likely to develop hypertension compared to those who used cell phones less regularly.
Furthermore, the study disclosed that those who spent six hours a week chatting on a cell phone raised the risk of hypertension to 25%.
The study also revealed that participants with a weekly usage time of 30 to 59 minutes, 1-3 hours, 4-6 hours, and over 6 hours were associated with corresponding risks of 8%, 13%, 16%, and 25% increased risk respectively.
Those with a high genetic risk of hypertension who spent at least 30 minutes a week talking on a mobile phone had a 33% higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
The study concluded that mobile phone users had a 7% higher risk of developing high blood pressure than non-users.
Lead author of the research, Professor Xianhui Qin, stated that “it’s the number of minutes people spend talking on a mobile that matters for heart health, with more minutes meaning greater risk”.
He also emphasized that years of use or employing a hands-free set-up did not influence the likelihood of developing high blood pressure.
Finally, Qin suggested that as mobile phones emit low levels of radiofrequency energy, which has been linked with rises in blood pressure after short-term exposure, until more research is conducted, it may be wise to keep mobile phone calls to a minimum to preserve heart health.
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