Mobile conversations for 30 or more minutes per week are associated with a 12% increased risk of high blood pressure, according to research published in the online journal of the European Society of Cardiology “European Heart Journal – Digital Health”.

The study used data from the UK medical database Biobank. A total of 212,046 adults aged 37–73 without hypertension were included.

Also, information about mobile phone use for making and receiving calls were collected through a questionnaire. The researchers then analyzed the association between cell phone use and new-onset hypertension after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, race, family history of hypertension, education, smoking status, blood pressure , blood lipids, inflammation, blood glucose, kidney function, and use of medications to lower cholesterol or blood glucose levels.

During an average follow-up twelve years old, 7% of participants developed hypertension. Mobile phone users had a 7% higher risk of hypertension compared to non-users. Those who talked on their cellphones for 30 minutes or more a week were 12 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than participants who spent less than 30 minutes on phone calls. The results were similar for men and women.

The analysis also showed that the probability of occurrence ofhigh blood pressure it was greater in those with a high genetic risk who spent at least 30 minutes a week talking on a cell phone—they were 33% more likely to have hypertension compared to those with a low genetic risk who spent less than 30 minutes a week on the phone.

“Years of use or hands-free use did not affect the likelihood of high blood pressure. More studies are needed to confirm the findings,” explains Xianhui Qin, professor at Southern Medical University in China and author of the study.