Heavy metal listeners beware...
Jason Gregory

10:19 12th November 2008

Listening to stressful or disturbing music can be bad for the heart, according to a new study.

An American investigation found that genres like Heavy Metal narrowed arteries and made people more anxious, where as “joyful” music improved blood flow.

John Denver-style country music was found to be the most uplifting.

Dr Miller, who led the study at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore, said people shouldn't read to much into the results, “although you could argue that country music is light, spirited, a lot of love songs.”

The Test

The study asked the 10 healthy, non-smoking volunteers to avoid listening to their favourite music to minimise "emotional desensitisation”.

Then, after two weeks, when they listened to music they liked “they would get an extra boost of whatever emotion was being generated," Dr Miller said.

The results found that volunteers' arteries opened 26% wider on average during music they liked but narrowed by 6% when “anxious” music was played.

Dr Miller added: "Needless to say, these results were music to my ears because they signal another preventive strategy that we may incorporate in our daily lives to promote heart health.”

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Photo: Carsten Windhorst