Mobile Phone Conversations of 30 Minutes or More Per Week Increase High Blood Pressure Risk, Study Finds

Correspondent Correspondent
Friday, July 14, 2023
Mobile Phone Conversations of 30 Minutes or More Per Week Increase High Blood Pressure Risk, Study Finds
New Study Links Extended Mobile Phone Usage to High Blood Pressure Risk.
In a recent report published in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health, researchers have shed light on the potential health effects of prolonged mobile phone use, specifically in relation to the risk of developing high blood pressure. The study uncovered that individuals who engage in phone conversations lasting 30 minutes or more per week face a 12% higher likelihood of high blood pressure compared to those who spend less time on phone calls.

This extensive study drew upon the UK Biobank database, analyzing a sample of 212,046 adults aged between 37 and 73 years who had no history of hypertension. Participants provided information about their mobile phone habits, including the number of years they had been using mobile phones, the amount of time they spent on phone calls each week, and whether they used hands-free devices or speakerphones.

Led by Professor Xianhui Qin from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, the research team explored the connection between mobile phone usage and the onset of hypertension. They took into consideration various factors such as demographics, medical history, and lifestyle habits.

The results of the study revealed that over a median follow-up period of 12 years, 13,984 participants (7% of the sample) developed hypertension. Moreover, mobile phone users were found to have a 7% higher risk of hypertension compared to non-users. Individuals who spent 30 minutes or more per week on phone calls faced a 12% greater chance of developing high blood pressure than those who spent less time conversing on their phones. These findings were consistent across both genders.

The research also highlighted a relationship between the duration of weekly phone calls and the risk of high blood pressure. The study indicated that individuals who spent less than 5 minutes per week on mobile phone calls had a lower risk of developing hypertension, while those with longer weekly call durations faced an increased risk. Specifically, the risk ranged from 8% for individuals who spent 30-59 minutes on phone calls to 25% for those who spent more than 6 hours per week. Interestingly, the study did not find any significant association between the risk of hypertension and the number of years of mobile phone use or the use of hands-free devices or speakerphones.

Furthermore, the study examined how the duration of mobile phone usage impacted new-onset hypertension based on participants' genetic predisposition to the condition. The findings indicated that individuals with a high genetic risk who spent at least 30 minutes a week talking on their mobile phones had a 33% higher likelihood of developing hypertension compared to those with a low genetic risk who spent less than 30 minutes a week on phone calls.

Considering these findings, Professor Qin advises individuals to limit their mobile phone conversations to under 30 minutes per week in order to maintain heart health. While further research is needed to validate these results, it is prudent to minimize the duration of mobile phone calls until more evidence becomes available. This study underscores the significance of being mindful of and managing mobile phone usage to mitigate potential health risks, particularly for individuals with a genetic predisposition to hypertension.