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Music often benefits heart health, local doctor emphasizes

TRINITY — Cardiologist Carlos Bayron puts his “Heart and Soul” into his work, as he explained at a recent Heart Month lecture at Medical Center of Trinity.

“The beat of your heart may be more closely connected to musical beats than you realize,” Bayron began. A salsa dancer himself, Bayron said he began to glimpse a connection years ago.

He asked the audience if it’s true or false that “feel-good music may be good for your heart.”

The answer is true, he reports.

“Your favorite songs don’t just make you tap your feet or boost your mood, they might also be good for your heart,” Bayron said. “Researchers at the University of Maryland found that when people listened to music that made them feel good, they had better blood flow, which is good for your heart and blood vessels.”

Music influences a listener’s heart rate, Bayron said. A person might feel a surge of energy when a favorite, upbeat song comes on the radio. Many other people listen to slow music to relax.

Research backs up those assumptions. A study published in the Journal of Vascular Nursing in 2006 showed that before angiography procedures, music lowered the heart rates of nervous patients and reduced anxiety. The journal Heart confirmed slow-tempt songs relaxes people and slows their pulse.

Another true-false question tested the audience. “Faster-paced music can make you work out harder. Quite true, Bayron confirmed. In one study, men cycled harder and quicker while enjoying a workout more when listening to faster music.

A study at the University of Pavia, in Italy, featured in Scientific American, showed that a listener’s pulse changes to match the tempo of the music – even if the listener dislikes the song.

Musicians particularly benefit because they have learned to breathe in rhythm to the music, so their heart rates match their respiration.

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