Music mends a broken heart! Listening to your favourite songs for 30 minutes a day makes heart attack sufferers LESS likely to have another cardiac arrest
- People who suffered heart attacks listened to music every day for 30 minutes
- Over seven years their recovery was tracked by a team of Serbian researchers
- Found that listening to music slashes anxiety, pain and decreases chance of another heart attack and death
People who have had a heart attack should listen to their favourite music for 30 minutes a day to increase their chance of making a full recovery, research suggests.
A study found daily doses of a preferred musical genre slashes the likelihood of a subsequent heart attack by almost a quarter (23 per cent).
Other benefits include an 18 per cent reduction in heart failure, being a fifth less likely to require an artery bypass graft and a 16 per cent lower rate of cardiac death.
Around 1.4 million people alive in the UK today have survived a heart attack – around 1 million men and 380,000 women – according to the British Heart Foundation.
The experts believe the seven-year study shows music can soothe the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response which causes spikes in heart rate and blood pressure and puts added strain on the organ.
A study found daily doses of a preferred musical genre slashes the likelihood of a subsequent heart attack by almost a quarter (23 per cent). Other benefits include an 18 per cent reduction in heart failure, being a fifth less likely to require an artery bypass graft (stock)
WHAT IS A HEART ATTACK?
Figures suggest there are 200,000 hospital visits because of heart attacks in the UK each year, while there are around 800,000 annually in the US.
A heart attack, known medically as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling weak and anxious.
Heart attacks are commonly caused by coronary heart disease, which can be brought on by smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Treatment is usually medication to dissolve blots clots or surgery to remove the blockage.
Reduce your risk by not smoking, exercising regularly and drinking in moderation.
Heart attacks are different to a cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, usually due to a problem with electrical signals in the organ.
Source: NHS Choices
A team of experts recruited 350 patients diagnosed with heart attack and chest pain soon after suffering a heart attack.
Half received standard treatment alone while the others also attended regular music sessions.
Standard treatment included drugs such as nitrates, aspirin, clot-preventing drugs, beta blockers, statins, calcium channel blockers, blood pressure-lowering medications and the angina-reducing drug ranolazine.
The patients that had this supplemented with music responded better.
Researchers from the University of Belgrade played patients nine 30-second music samples to find out which genre their body found most relaxing.
Automatic bodily responses such as pupil dilation and narrowing was tracked to determine which genre caused the person to respond most positively.
The team then discussed the musical selection with the patient to determine the optimal tempo and tonality.
Participants listened to their designated melody for 30 minutes each day while sitting, ideally resting with their eyes closed, for seven years.
They logged their sessions and were assessed at a medical centre every three months for the first year and then annually.
When compared to the control group, those that regularly listened to music were found to stand a better chance of optimum recovery.
Music therapy patients had anxiety scores one third lower than those on standard treatment and reported lower angina symptoms by about one quarter, on average.
Dr Predrag Mitrovic, professor of cardiology at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine who led the study, said: ‘There have been very few studies analysing the effects of music on heart conditions.
‘Based on our findings, we believe music therapy can help all patients after a heart attack, not only patients with early post-infarction angina.
‘It’s also very easy and inexpensive to implement.’
He added: ‘Unrelieved anxiety can produce an increase in sympathetic nervous system activity, leading to an increase in cardiac workload.’
Dr Predrag Mitrovic, professor of cardiology at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine believes the seven-year study shows music can soothe the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response which causes spikes in heart rate and blood pressure and puts extra strain on the organ (stock)
Dr Mitrovic suggested regular sessions of listening to music could interrupt the cascade of events by reducing the anxiety associated with angina after a heart attack.
The new study proposes music, combined with standard therapies like medications, could be a simple, accessible measure patients can do at home to reduce symptoms and help prevent subsequent cardiac events.
The team plans to test whether music therapy could show benefits for patients with other conditions like diabetes.
The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology.