A new study has found a link between talking on a mobile phone for 30 minutes or longer every week and high blood pressure or hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke and a leading cause of premature deaths globally.
The research, published in the European Heart Journal—Digital Health, analysed data from 212,046 people aged 37 to 73 years without hypertension who were part of the UK Biobank, a commonly used data set in European-focused research, according to PTI. The findings showed that talking on a mobile phone for 30 minutes or more every week contributes to a 12 per cent increased risk of developing hypertension.
This can be concerning as almost three-quarters of the global population aged 10 and over currently own a mobile phone, which emits low levels of radiofrequency energy linked with an increase in blood pressure after short-term exposure, according to PTI. "It's the number of minutes people spend talking on a mobile that matters for heart health, with more minutes meaning greater risk," study author Xianhui Qin of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China said in a statement.
The findings also showed that years of use or using a hands-free set-up did not influence the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. Using mobile phones for 30 to 59 minutes, one to three hours, four to six hours and more than six hours was associated with an 8 per cent, 13 per cent, 16 per cent and 25 per cent raised risk of high blood pressure, respectively, according to PTI.
The researchers also conducted a genetic risk analysis which showed that the likelihood of developing high blood pressure was 33 per cent higher in those with high genetic risk and spending at least 30 minutes talking over the phone, according to PTI. However, further research is required to confirm the results as the average participant in the research was white and middle-aged or older. Hence, the findings can’t be used expansively. However, researchers advised that it is better to keep mobile phone calls to a minimum to preserve heart health.