Sweet Serenade: Music as Medicine
A simple strategy–listening to music for 30 minutes a day–can lower post-heart attack anxiety and significantly reduce future cardiac risks, reports a new study from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, in Serbia, presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session and World Congress of Cardiology. The researchers recruited 350 patients diagnosed with heart attacks and early post-infarction angina at a medical center. Half were randomly assigned to receive standard treatment while half were assigned to regular music sessions in addition to standard treatment. In a follow-up seven years later, the patients with music therapy on average had anxiety scores one-third lower than those on standard treatment and reported lower angina symptoms by about one-quarter. They also had an 18 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure; a 23 percent lower rate of subsequent heart attack; a 20 percent lower rate of needing coronary artery bypass graft surgery; and a 16 percent lower rate of cardiac death.