Can statins lower your blood pressure (BP)? Instead of consuming pills to attack blood pressure, German researchers recommend that classical, not pop music, can help to do the trick.
Classical music designed by the geniuses Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss are especially useful, say scientists at Ruhr University. Their music is as good as lowering the salt in your diet, or exercising.
The researchers explain that music should be "in a pleasant key, of skilful composition, have a consistent volume and rhythm, devoid of rousing sequences, have no lyrics, and have achieved a certain degree of fame and popularity."
In their study, scientists divided their experiments into three sessions. They exposed 60 volunteers to Mozart's No 40 in g minor, then to dances by Strauss and finally to ABBA songs. They found that Mozart brought down systolic BP by 4.7 mm Hg, Strauss by 3.7 mm Hg, but there was no effect of ABBA at all!
The music lowers diastolic BP by 2.1 mm Hg for Mozart and 2.9 mm Hg for Straus. Systolic BP is the first number measuring the pressure in blood vessels with the heart beating, while the diastolic BP is the next number that takes the measure with the heart resting between beats.
Hans-Joachim Trapper, the lead author, says: "It has been known for centuries that music has an effect on human beings. In antiquity, music was used to improve performance in athletes during the Olympic Games."
According to Deutsches Artzteblatt International journal, scientists have found that Mozart's No 40 in g minor helps cardiocirculatory systems, especially due to the symmetry of its "compositional elements." There is also some gender difference in reactions: "The drop in cortisol concentrations was more pronounced in men than in women, especially for the music of Mozart and Strauss," said the study.
Strauss's dance music are well-known due to their "simple structures, catchy melodies and periodically recurring forms" that help to reach out and entertain people with their "harmonic sequences, but without distinctive dissonances."
The third set of music by ABBA probably had no effect on BP due to their use of words, rather than notes, and perhaps played a negative role.
A new study shows that statins do not play much of a role in protecting cardiovascular patients from problems such as heart attacks, angina or strokes, when the benchmark was 70 mg/DL. Below that level, the impact of statins was negligible.