Music Therapy Lowers Blood Pressure and Reduces Reinfarction Rates in ACS

September 09, 2009

September 4, 2009 (Barcelona, Spain) – Music might be good for the soul, but a study presented this week suggests it could also be associated with more tangible cardiovascular benefits.

Researchers here at the European Society of Cardiology 2009 Congress showed that music therapy reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and patient anxiety and had a significant effect on future events, including reinfarction and sudden death, in acute coronary syndrome patients who underwent revascularization.

Speaking with heartwire , lead investigator Dr Predrag Mitrovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia) said previous studies have shown that music therapy can have positive effects on the heart, namely by decreasing sympathetic nervous activity. Other reports, including a study reported previously by heartwire , have shown that the positive emotions aroused by happy, joyful music can have favorable effects on the endothelium.

In this study, Mitrovic and colleagues provide data on their seven-year experience with using music therapy in patients with acute coronary syndrome who had undergone revascularization. In total, 740 patients between April 1990 and January 2009 were included in the analysis, with 370 patients receiving two sessions of music therapy for 12 minutes daily and 370 patients not listening to music.

During the seven-year follow-up period, patients who listened to music had less anxiety, although the score did not reach statistical significance, and statistically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures and heart rate. Patients who listened to music also had significantly less angina, less heart failure, and lower rates of reinfarction, sudden death, and revascularization.

Mitrovic said the music preferred by patients is typically classical but that they are not always up front, at least at first, about their musical preferences. "A lot of patients don't want to tell us the truth about the type of music they like," said Mitrovic. "Some of them like national music, and they don't like to tell us about it. But if we give them the wrong type of music, it might have a negative effect."

The group hopes to publish the study shortly, but in the meantime it recommends music therapy in acute coronary syndrome patients who have undergone revascularization as an inexpensive means to lower the stress and emotional disturbance they might feel worrying about a second event.


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