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At-risk college students reduce HBP, anxiety, depression through Transcendental Meditation
Date:11/17/2009

The Transcendental Meditation technique may be an effective method to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and anger among at-risk college students, according to a new study to be published in the American Journal of Hypertension, December 2009.

"The Transcendental Meditation Program, a widely-used standardized program to reduce stress, showed significant decreases in blood pressure and improved mental health in young adults at risk for hypertension," said David Haaga, PhD, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.

This study was conducted at American University with 298 university students randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or wait-list control over a three-month intervention period. A subgroup of 159 subjects at risk for hypertension was analyzed separately. At baseline and after three months, blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability were assessed.

For the students at risk for developing hypertension, significant improvements were observed in blood pressure, psychological distress and coping. Compared to the control group, students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program showed reductions of 6.3 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 4.0 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. These reductions are associated with a 52% lower risk for development of hypertension in later years.

The findings are timely. Today, an estimated 18 million students are dealing with mental health issues on college campuses. Statistics from colleges nationwide indicate there has been a 50% increase in the diagnosis of depression, and more than twice as many students are on psychiatric medications as a decade ago. According to

Contact: Ken Chawkin
kchawkin@mum.edu
641-470-1314
Maharishi University of Management
Source:Eurekalert

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