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Can Baseball Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Today marks the start of a new season for (with apologies to football fans) America's "national pastime," as the 2011 MLB season gets underway. Between now and the end of the regular season, 30 teams will play 2430 games in front of over 72 million attendees. But with research suggesting that fans of other popular spectator sports, such as football and soccer, suffer increased heart rate and blood pressure during close games, are baseball viewers also at risk?

No, says a study published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension: in fact, baseball may lower your blood pressure. In the study, doctors from Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York, looked at heart rate and blood pressure in New York Giants, Jets, and Yankees fans during their respective playoffs. Neither group of fans saw their heart rate significantly affected, but Yankees fans saw their mean arterial blood pressure drop a "highly significant" six percent. Doctors should expect hypertension patients suggesting "baseball" as a cure any day now.

For more research on what’s in the news, check out the rest of TNR’s newest blog, The Study.