Transcendental meditation slashes cardiac risks by 50 percent

November 17th, 2009 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 17 (IANS) Transcendental Meditation (TM) helped cardiac patients slash heart attack, stroke and death risks by 50 percent, says a study on its potential effects.
The nine-year, randomised control trial followed 201 African-American men and women, of average age 59 years, with narrowing of arteries in their hearts.

They were randomly assigned to either practice the stress-reducing TM 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.

There was clinically significant reduction in blood pressure associated with decrease in clinical events and significant reductions in psychological stress in the high-stress subgroup.

“Previous research on Transcendental Meditation has shown reductions in blood pressure, psychological stress, and other risk factors for heart disease, irrespective of ethnicity,” said Robert Schneider, lead study author and director of the Institute of Natural Medicine and Prevention (INMP).

“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,” he added.

The study was conducted at The Medical College of Wisconsin (MC-W), Milwaukee along with the INMP at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, said a release of the MC-W.

“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, study co-author and professor of medicine, and associate dean for clinical research at the MC-W.

The trial was sponsored by a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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