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High medical costs decrease 28 percent after 5 years of Transcendental Meditation practice
Date:9/12/2011

According to a study published this week in the September/October 2011 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion (Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 56-60), people with consistently high health care costs experienced a 28 percent cumulative decrease in physician fees after an average of five years practicing the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique compared with their baseline. Both between and within group comparisons were statistically significant. This study has major policy implications.

In most populations, a small fraction of people account for the majority of health care costs. In the U.S., the highest spending 10% in the general population incurred 60% to 70% of total medical expenditures annually. In the Medicare population, the highest spending 5% incurred 43% of total Medicare costs, and the highest spending 25% of seniors accounted for 85% of total expenses. A large number of these people have consistently high medical bills over many years. (References in article, available upon request.)

Chronic stress is the number one factor contributing to high medical expenses. Stress reduction may help reduce these costs.

This new study compared the changes in physician costs for 284 consistent high-cost participants142 Transcendental Meditation practitioners with 142 non-practitioners, over five years in Quebec, Canada. The non-TM subjects were randomly selected from Quebec health insurance enrollees with the same age, sex, and region to match the TM participant profiles. The TM participants decided to begin the technique prior to choosing to enter the study. In the year before the intervention began, there were no significant differences between the groups in payments to physicians.

During the five-year assessment period, the TM group's annual rate of change in paymen
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Contact: Ken Chawkin
kchawkin@mum.edu
641-472-4037
Roth Media
Source:Eurekalert  

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