Your smartphone could affect your heart

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Beware! Your mobile phone could affect your heart rate variability (HRV) and significantly change your average heartbeat intervals, HRV is a measurement of variability between two successive heartbeats and determines the cardiovascular condition of a person. Any significant changes in the HRV could impact the cardiac health of an individual.

The researchers suggest that mobile phones should be used with earphones to reduce the negative impact on HRV to a certain extent. Heart rate variability begins to change when the phone is in use, and the extent of variability depends on the nearness of the phone to the body.

How can we avoid this?
As part of the research, the team from the city-based Deccan College of Medical Sciences(DCMS) conducted three different studies, an effect on heart rate variability when the phone is close to the body; when the phone is used with earphones; and when the mobile phone is not in use.

The study revealed that there is a statistically significant change in average heart rate and time between beats (RR interval), when the mobile phone is kept in direct contact with the ear, versus when it is connected using earphones. However, the increase in mean heart rate is more when the mobile phone is kept in direct contact with the ear than with the use of earphones.

The team comprised Juveriya Yasmeen, Mehnaaz Sameera Arifuddin, Nazema Khatoon, Umaima Mahveen and Mohammed Abdul Hannan Hazari from the Department of Physiology, Deccan College of Medical Sciences. The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the science journal, National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

“There is a decrease in parasympathetic tone and an increase in sympathetic tone measured indirectly through HRV parameters, i.e. change in low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components. Thus, this study shows that the use of mobile phones does indeed influence heart rhythmicity and conductivity. The population at large should be advised on minimizing the use of mobile phones in their day-to-day life,” the study warned.

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