Cell Phone Usage Linked To High Blood Pressure

By Hilda Scott , May 15, 2013 11:17 AM EDT

High blood pressure (hypertension) affects an estimated one billion people worldwide and is often considered the "silent killer". One in three adults in the United States have high blood pressure and continuous research helps to gain a better understanding about the epidemic.

This week at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, medical experts discussed findings from new studies. Research suggests that mobile cell phone calls can cause an acute increase in blood pressure.

"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," ASH President and 2013 Scientific Program Committee Chair, Dr. William B. White said in an ASH press release Wednesday.

Statistics show that 87 percent of American adults own a cell phone and a recent study shows that talking on cell phones may lead to high blood pressure. According to a team of doctors from Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, talking on mobile phone calls causes a person's blood pressure to rise significantly. Their research reported that blood pressure can increase from 121/77 to 129/82. The average ideal normal blood pressure is 120/80. 

The researchers noticed that the rise in blood pressure was not as drastic in patients who were used to talking on the phone over 30 times a day. There were a couple of theories that may explain why more phone calls resulted in only a slight blood pressure increase than less phone calls.

"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," study researcher Dr. G. Crippa, said. 

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