Ringing Cell Phones May Cause Rise in Blood Pressure

(HealthDay News) – The ringing of one’s mobile phone may cause an increase in blood pressure (BP), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, held from May 15–18 in San Francisco.

Giuseppe Crippa, MD, from Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Piacenza, Italy, and colleagues measured BP in 94 mild-to-moderate hypertensive subjects (49 females; mean age, 53 years) on pharmacological treatment, during two consecutive series of six measurements using an automated oscillometric device with readings set at one-minute intervals. During one of the series, the patient’s mobile phone number was dialed three times by an investigator using a phone number unknown to the patient. Provocation was complete when the subjects answered and spoke on at least one of the three phone call attempts. Habitual cellular phone use was documented in an interview.

The researchers found that systolic BP significantly increased (+7.1mmHg) during exposure to phone calls. The increase in diastolic BP (+4.7mmHg) was not statistically significant. The phone rings did not affect heart rate. In patients who more frequently used the mobile phone (>30 calls per day) and in patients treated with beta-adrenergic-blockers, the rise in systolic BP was less.

“In conclusion, telephone calls received during BP measurement may significantly increase systolic BP in hypertensive subjects, leading to overestimation of BP levels,” the authors write.

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