Navigation Links
Meditation Might Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke in Blacks
Date:11/13/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For black Americans suffering from heart disease, meditation might help prevent heart attacks, strokes and early death, a small new study suggests.

These benefits appear to be the results of meditation's ability to lower blood pressure, stress and anger, all of which have been linked to increased cardiovascular risk, researchers say.

"This is a whole new physiological effect on top of conventional treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa. "People can prevent heart disease reoccurrence using their own mind-body connection. People have this internal self-healing ability."

An outside expert, however, said the study is too limited in size and scope to allow conclusions as to whether meditation really reduces risk of death or disease.

The new study focused on Transcendental Meditation. Originally from India, it is not associated with any particular religion or philosophy. It is thought to produce alpha brain waves that occur in deep relaxation. According to the Maharishi Foundation, more than 5 million people worldwide practice this type of meditation.

The research focused on blacks because they are at a higher risk than whites of having heart attacks and strokes and dying from heart disease, Schneider said. He added, however, that meditation would work as well among whites and other populations.

"Other studies have been done among whites and the results are similar," he said.

The report was published in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The study was sponsored by the Maharishi University of Management and funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For the study, Schneider's team randomly assigned 201 black Americans with heart disease either to a Transcendental Meditation stress-reducing program or health education class about lifestyle modification in diet and exercise.

Almost 60 percent of the participants were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Forty-one percent of the meditation group took aspirin, as did 31 percent of the health education group; 38 percent of the meditation group and 43 percent of the health education group smoked, the researchers noted.

Participants' average body-mass index -- a measurement of body fat based on height and weight -- was 32, which is considered obese.

Meditation consisted of sitting with eyes closed for about 20 minutes twice a day. The goal was to rest while remaining alert.

After more than five years of follow-up, the researchers found those who meditated saw significant reductions in blood pressure and anger compared to those receiving health education. In addition, 20 people in the medication group had a heart attack or stroke or died, compared with 32 in the health education group.

Both groups increased exercise and drank less. For those who meditated, there was a trend toward reduced smoking; however, this was not statistically significant.

Learning how to do Transcendental Meditation isn't inexpensive. An initial 10-hour course runs about $1,500 when taught by nonprofit groups, and there is continued lifetime follow-up, Schneider said.

And it's not something you can learn by yourself. "You've got to have a teacher right there in front of you teaching according to experience," he said. "So it's only learned live."

Transcendental Meditation is not generally covered by health insurance, he said. "One of the reasons we did the study is because insurance and Medicare calls for citing evidence for what's to be reimbursed," Schneider said. "This study will lead toward reimbursement. That's the whole idea."

But a cardiology expert said that although the study adds to evidence supporting meditation, it doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the practice and better health outcomes.

"Transcendental Meditation has been reported to have health benefits and has been evaluated in a number of studies," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Some studies have suggested favorable effects on cardiovascular risk factors whereas others studies have been inconclusive, he said.

Even though the findings in this study were statistically significant, the new study was too small to be conclusive, Fonarow said.

"In addition, since this study was conducted at a single center and the primary [change in heart attack, stroke and death] was not statistically significant without adjustment for other factors, more studies and replication of these findings are needed," he said.

More information

For more information on heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Robert Schneider, M.D., director, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Fairfield, Iowa; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 13, 2012, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Meditation appears to produce enduring changes in emotional processing in the brain
2. Meditation May Help Fight Loneliness, Study Says
3. Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults, Carnegie Mellon study shows
4. Exercise, Meditation Can Beat Back Cold, Flu, Study Finds
5. Meditation Method a Matter of Taste
6. Mindful Meditation Tied to Healthy Brain Changes: Study
7. Meditation practice may decrease risk for cardiovascular disease in teens
8. Meditation practice may decrease risk for cardiovascular disease in teens
9. Lone Star Tick Bite Might Trigger Red Meat Allergy: Study
10. Acupuncture Might Ease Fatigue Linked to Breast Cancer
11. Play-Focused Program Might Help Kids With Autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Meditation Might Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke in Blacks
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors ... Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in ... retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition ... the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market ... can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, ... member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. ... and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate ... people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit ... from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a ... design, and immune-engineering today announced the launch of ... development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has ... exclusive access to enabling technologies to the new ... will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that ... successfully helping those with the widespread pain associated with ... Amanda in Essex, England commented, ... hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with ... cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... business partnership to offer a strategic hub service that ... Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and ... A spirometer is a medical device used to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: