Listening to music for 30 minutes a day helps you recover from a heart attack

It's nice to listen to music, but can it do any good for your health? In a new study of cardiologists from the Medical University of Belgrade (Serbia), music therapy helped patients with myocardial infarction who suffered from subsequent angina. Patients had significantly reduced pain and anxiety levels if they listened to music for 30 minutes a day. The results of the study will be presented at the American College at the World Annual Congress of Cardiologists.

News Medical Life Sciences reports that nearly 700,000 people in the United States experience myocardial infarction each year, and it is estimated that about one in nine survivors experiences anxiety and severe chest pain. A new study suggests that musical therapy, combined with standard medication, could be a good method of rehabilitation after a heart attack.

Specialists have selected 350 patients who have had a heart attack and suffered from postinfarct angina. Half of them were randomly assigned to standard treatment, which included taking various medications such as nitrates, beta-blockers, statins, calcium channel blockers, pressure relief medications, etc. In addition, the other half received music therapy. 

In order to determine which genre of body "will respond" positively, patients were offered to listen to nine musical samples. At the same time, the researchers understood the body response by the reaction of the pupils, facial expressions, movements, etc. The second half was given music therapy to determine which genre of the body "will respond" positively. The melody, which patients found the most attractive and soothing, and offered to receive as a therapy.

Doctors asked their subjects to listen to music for 30 minutes daily in a comfortable position with their eyes closed. Further, for seven years, patients continued to receive music sessions at home, and after listening, they recorded their feelings in a special diary. They were also regularly examined: every three months during the first year after discharge and annually thereafter.

It turned out that musical therapy combined with standard treatment was more effective than conventional therapy. Patients had one third less anxiety, one quarter fewer angina symptoms than patients who received standard treatment. They also had an 18% reduction in heart failure, a 23% reduction in repeated attacks, a 16% reduction in mortality and a 20% reduction in the need for coronary artery bypass surgery.

The authors of the study argue that music therapy reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, i.e. it helps to relax, reduce anxiety, calm down, reduce pain and relieve additional stress on the cardiovascular system. Thus, listening to music can help patients recover from a heart attack and cope with postinfarct angina.

March 19, 2020, 11:16 a.m.

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