High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it rarely presents any symptoms. Left untreated, it could increase the risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Around a third of adults in the UK have the condition, although many will not realise it.
Even compared to slow, relaxing music, silence resulted in greater decreases in heart rate and blood pressure.
Older 2003 research associated a chronically noisy environment with increases in these two heart health markers.
While more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of silence on blood pressure, the results are promising.
The NHS advises simple lifestyle changes can help reduce high blood pressure, although some people may need to take medicine as well.
The health body recommends cutting down on your salt intake to lower blood pressure.
It states: “Cut your salt intake to less than 6g (0.2oz) a day, which is about a teaspoonful.”
Eating a low-fast, balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, can also help, as well as being active.
It also recommends cutting down on alcohol, losing weight if you’re overweight, drinking less caffeine and stopping smoking.
Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers – the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80).
Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.