A study has found that in fact music can strengthen the heart — and improve the recovery of patients suffering from heart disease.
For the study, 74 patients with cardiac disease were divided into three groups. Some were enrolled in exercise classes for three weeks. Other participants were put in the same classes, but also told to listen to music of their choice at any point for 30 minutes every day. A third group only listened to music, and did not take cardio-vascular exercise, which is usually prescribed to those with heart disease.
The group which only took aerobic exercise improved their capacity by 29 per cent. Even those who took no exercise and only listened to their favorite music for half an hour a day improved their exercise function by 19 per cent.
The outcome, the Daily Mail reports, was that patients who had listened to music as well as exercising had boosted crucial measures of heart function significantly, and improved their exercise capacity by 39 per cent. From this, the cardiologists involved have said that the findings suggest that all people could boost the health of their hearts simply by listening to their favorite tunes.
The findings have been presented at the European Society of Cardiology's annual congress in Amsterdam, which is taking place this month. The study was carried out by Professor Marina Deljanin Ilic. Commenting on the study, Professor Ilic is quoted by Psychology Today as saying: "In the setting of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease the endothelium loses its normal function. Since endothelium derived nitric oxide is necessary to maintain an adequate vascular response, correction of endothelial dysfunction has become a goal of therapy.
Exercise training has been shown to improve endothelial function and is the cornerstone of a multifaceted program of cardiovascular rehabilitation. However, little is known about the role of music in cardiovascular rehabilitation or the effects of listening to favorite music on endothelial function."