Transcendental Meditation can cut heart attack risk

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Washington, Nov 17 (ANI): Transcendental Meditation can have a beneficial effect on heart disease and stress, a new study has shown.

According to the results of a first-ever study presented during the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, patients with coronary heart disease who practiced the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique had nearly 50 percent lower rates of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to nonmeditating controls.

The nine-year, randomized control trial followed 201 African American men and women, average age 59 years, with narrowing of arteries in their hearts who were randomly assigned to either practice the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique or to participate in a control group which received health education classes in traditional risk factors, including dietary modification and exercise.

All participants continued standard medications and other usual medical care.

The study found a 47 percent reduction in the combination of death, heart attacks, and strokes in the participants; clinically significant (5 mm Hg average) reduction in blood pressure associated with decrease in clinical events; significant reductions in psychological stress in the high-stress subgroup.

According to Robert Schneider, M.D., FACC, lead author and director of the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention, "Previous research on Transcendental Meditation has shown reductions in blood pressure, psychological stress, and other risk factors for heart disease, irrespective of ethnicity. But this is the first controlled clinical trial to show that long-term practice of this particular stress reduction program reduces the incidence of clinical cardiovascular events, that is heart attacks, strokes and mortality."

"This study is an example of the contribution of a lifestyle intervention-stress management-to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients," said Theodore Kotchen, M.D., co-author of the study, professor of medicine, and associate dean for clinical research at the Medical College. Other investigators at the Milwaukee site included Drs. Jane Kotchen and Clarence Grim. (ANI)

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