According to a long-term study, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases if you use your cell phone for more than 30 minutes a week

July 23, 2023

With the advent of cell phones came concerns about the harmful health effects of their radiation. Rumors that the cellphone had “boiled brains” turned out to be exaggerated, but no one has put an end to the issue of cellphone security. New multi-year study showedthat the danger of using a mobile phone is not what they were looking for before. The main target of radio emissions from the phone was the heart.

An international team of scientists led by professors from Southern Medical University (Guangzhou, China) studied the habits and health of 212,046 adults aged 37 to 73 years based on project data over a 12-year period. British Biobank. All study participants of both genders were free of hypertension prior to data collection. In other words, they all had a healthy cardiovascular system. And then the phone rang…

The duration of the call, its frequency, the number of calls per week and the number of years of use of mobile or landline telephones (headsets or hands-free) were recorded by the study participants in the questionnaire. A mobile phone user was someone who made or received a call at least once a week. The result of the analysis stimulates reflection. In an authoritative European magazine European Heart Journal – Digital Health scientist reportedthat using a mobile phone for more than 30 minutes per week increases the risk of high blood pressure by an average of 12%.

Exactly half an hour a week or more is the line that separated people who still had a healthy heart and suffered from high blood pressure after 12 years. The study took into account genetics, race, gender, age and a number of other aspects. None of that mattered. The difference in the likelihood of developing high blood pressure was only in the number of minutes of talk time per week – less than 30 minutes and more than that time. And the more minutes of talk time, the higher the probability of contracting this unpleasant disease, which in turn increases the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks, and, as a result, death.

“It’s the number of minutes spent on a cell phone that matters for heart health, with more minutes leading to greater risk.” says study author Professor Xianhui Qin from Southern Medical University (Guangzhou, China). – Years of talking on the phone or using a hands-free kit does not affect the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. Further studies are needed to confirm the results.”

Today, almost three quarters of the world’s population aged 10 and over uses a mobile phone. Almost 1.3 billion adults aged 30 to 79 worldwide have high blood pressure (hypertension). Previous studies of cell phone use in relation to risk of high blood pressure have been inconsistent, possibly because they included speaking, texting, gaming, etc. In general, however, the effect of a high-frequency radio signal on the blood vessels is well known and consists of a short-term increase in blood pressure at the time of the phone call.

The mean age of the study participants was 54 years, 62% of whom were women. Cell phones were used by 88% of study participants. During the 12-year follow-up, 13,984 (7%) participants developed hypertension. Mobile phone users were 7% more likely to develop high blood pressure than non-users. Those who spent 30 minutes or more a week on their cell phones had a 12% higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who spent less than 30 minutes on their cell phones. The results were similar for women and men.

Compared to people who spent less than 5 minutes per week calling, calling from 30 to 59 minutes per week increased the risk of developing high blood pressure by 8%, and from 1 hour to 3 hours increased the risk by 13% , from 4 to 6 hours – increased the risk of high blood pressure by 16%, and more than 6 hours increased the risk of high blood pressure by 25%. It didn’t matter how many years a person used the phone. This did not affect the risk of developing hypertension, nor did using the hands-free device lead to its occurrence.

If a person was genetically or lifestyleally predisposed to high blood pressure, the risk of developing high blood pressure increased to 33% if such a study participant spoke on a mobile phone for more than 30 minutes per week.

Professor Qin said: “Our results suggest that using a mobile phone may not affect the risk of developing hypertension if the weekly talking time does not exceed half an hour. More research is needed to reproduce the results, but until then, to maintain heart health, it is advisable to keep cell phone calls to a minimum.”


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