Cell Phone Use Linked to Higher Risk of New-onset Hypertension?

11 May 2023 • Using a mobile phone to make or receive calls for just 30 minutes a week is associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension, a large observational study using UK Biobank data suggests. The study showed adults who spent that at least a half-hour per week on their mobile phone had a 12% increased risk of developing hypertension, whereas those who spent more than 6 hours weekly had a 25% increased risk, compared with a weekly usage time of under 5 minutes.

A total of 212 046 participants without prior hypertension in the UK Biobank were included. The primary outcome was new-onset hypertension. During a median follow-up of 12.0 years, 13 984 participants developed new-onset hypertension.

  • Compared with mobile phone non-users, a significantly higher risk of new-onset hypertension was found in mobile phone users
  • Among mobile phone users, compared with those with a weekly usage time of mobile phones for making or receiving calls <5 mins, significantly higher risks of new-onset hypertension were found in participants with a weekly usage time of 30–59 mins.
  • Moreover, participants with both high genetic risks of hypertension and longer weekly usage time of mobile phones making or receiving calls had the highest risk of new-onset hypertension.
  • The study was published online in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health.

Caveats and Cautionary Notes

  • The investigators caution that the UK Biobank does not include data on the type of mobile phone technology used, and other sources of electromagnetic waves.
  • Another limitation is that the study population is predominantly White middle-aged adults or White older adults and healthier than the UK general population.
  • A third limitation is that information on mobile phone use was assessed once at baseline and usage might have changed over time.

Source: ESC | Read full story

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