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Transcendental meditation effective in reducing high blood pressure, study shows
Date:12/4/2007

that any specific stress reduction effectively lowers blood pressure. The new meta-analysis identified all high quality meditation studies published through 2006 and rigorously analyzed their effects, which the previous government report failed to do.

Anderson said the new meta-analysis includes only high quality studies on all available stress reduction interventions. The studies on Transcendental Meditation were conducted at five independent universities and medical institutions, and the majority of them were funded by competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The magnitude of the changes in blood pressure with the Transcendental Meditation technique are at least as great as the changes found with major changes in diet or exercise that doctors often recommend, Anderson said. Yet the Transcendental Meditation technique does not require changes in lifestyle. Thus many patients with mild hypertension or prehypertension may be able to avoid the need to take blood pressure medications--all of which have adverse side effects. Individuals with more severe forms of hypertension may be able to reduce the number or dosages of their BP medications under the guidance of their doctor.

Anderson added that long-term changes in blood pressure of this magnitude are associated with at least a 15 percent reduction in rates of heart attack and stroke. This is important to everyone because cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide, Anderson said.

The studys biostatistician, Maxwell Rainforth, assistant professor of Physiology and Health Statistics at Maharishi University of Management, said the meta-analysis used state-of-the-art statistical methods to review 107 published studies in the field of stress reduction, relaxation and blood pressure. The twenty-three separate studies included in the final analysis met well-known criteria for high scientific quality. That is, these studies used repeated blood pres
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Contact: Ann Blackford
ann.blackford@uky.edu
859-323-6363
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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