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Taking calls while monitoring blood pressure can alter the readings. A new study has revealed that certain spikes are observed when patients take phone calls while getting their blood pressure monitored. Read on to find out more about the study.

Effect of Cell Phone Call on Blood Pressure Reading

High blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer. More than one billion people across the globe suffer from high blood pressure. There has been a recent study conducted by Dr. G. Crippa and his fellow associates at the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, in Piacenza, Italy which states that taking cell phone calls while monitoring blood pressure can have an effect on the blood pressure readings. The study offers cautionary advice to patients suffering from hypertension and warns them not to use cell phones for taking calls while taking their blood pressure readings.

People suffering from high blood pressure are advised to keep a tab on their blood pressure readings. To do so, they can either visit a health care professional or they can use home blood pressure monitoring kits to take their readings on a regular basis. Since cell phones have become indispensable for maintaining our day-to-day business and social relations, the team lead by Dr. Crippa decided to study the effect of the noise generated by the ringing of cell phones on blood pressure readings.

To study the effect of cell phones on blood pressure readings, the doctors selected a sample population of 94 middle aged participants suffering from mild to moderate hypertension. All of these participants were taking medication for controlling high blood pressure. The cell phone numbers of all the participants were taken before the study and data regarding their cell phone usage frequency was also collected.

As part of the study, two different series of six blood pressure measurements were taken for all the participants while they were sitting on an armchair. The monitor took automatic readings at one-minute intervals. The blood pressure monitoring unit took both systolic and diastolic blood pressures and measured heart rates for each interval. The researchers called up the participants from unknown numbers three times during either the first or the second series of measurements. The resulting measurements were then analyzed to compare the blood pressure and heart rate with and without phone calls.

The main observation of the study was that when the participants answered the cell phone calls, their average blood pressure spiked from 121/77 to 129/82.

There was no significant change observed in the heart rate. Another key observation of the study was that the spike in systolic blood pressure was less pronounced in participants who used their cell phones more than 30 times in a day.

The spike was also less evident in participants who were taking beta-adrenergic blockers for lowering their blood pressure.

The lead researcher, Dr. Crippa said that he was unsure about the reason for less pronounced spike in blood pressure in participants who used their cell phones more often. It was observed that the participants who used their cell phone more often were younger and this could imply that younger people are less likely to be disturbed by the frequent telephonic intrusions.

It was also observed that cell phone usage did not have any impact on the diastolic blood pressure of the participants.

The most important takeaway of the study conducted by Dr. Crippa is that patients should be advised to turn off their cell phones to ensure accuracy of the blood pressure readings. The American Heart Association also recommends patients to be quiet while getting their blood pressures monitored. The mere act of talking can raise the measurements and therefore patients are advised to be calm and quiet in order to get accurate blood pressure measurements.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Mobile Phone Calls Acutely Increase Blood Pressure Levels in Hypertensive Subjects”, by Crippa Giuseppe, et al. Published in the May 2013 issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, accessed on June 12, 2013
  • “Effects of Comprehensive Lifestyle Modification on Diet, Weight, Physical Fitness, and Blood Pressure Control: 18-Month Results of a Randomized Trial”, by Patricia J. Elmer, et al. Published in the April 2006 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, accessed on June 12, 2013.
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