Medical researchers in Italy claim respiratory rates and blood flow can be linked to music and could be use to control blood pressure and aid in rehabilitation, according to findings published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Actually, the research, as described in ScienceDaily, shows what you probably have suspected all along – faster music increases breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, while slower music causes the same vital signs to decrease in speed. Stopping the music often resulted in rates decreasing to virtually the same levels as recorded before the music began to play.

“Music induces a continuous, dynamic – and to some extent predictable – change in the cardiovascular system,” said Luciano Bernardi, M.D., lead researcher of the study and professor of Internal Medicine at Pavia University in Pavia, Italy. “It is not only the emotion that creates the cardiovascular changes, but this study suggests that also the opposite might be possible, that cardiovascular changes may be the substrate for emotions, likely in a bi-directional way.”

What kind of music were researchers playing for their human subjects? Classical as in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; a selection from Puccini’s Turandot; a Bach cantata, “Va Pensiero” from Nabucco and “Libiam Nei Lieti Calici” from La Traviata.

Kind of makes you wonder what researchers would have found if they played, say, Metallica or Green Day, doesn’t it? However, a more interesting scenario might include the long-term effects of exposure to rock ‘n’ roll. For all we know, KISS roadies could have the strongest hearts of all.

Click here for the complete ScienceDaily article.