Transcendental Meditation May Be Useful in Secondary Prevention of CVD in High-Risk Populations

Stress reduction using Transcendental Meditation (TM) programs may be clinically useful in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in black men and women and other high-risk populations, according to a new study published in Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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The study, which randomized 201 black men and women with coronary artery disease to a TM program or health education, found significant reductions in risks of mortality, myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke among those patients in the TM group, as compared to the health education group. Data showed a 48 percent risk reduction in mortality, nonfatal stroke and nonfatal MI in the TM group during an average follow-up of 5.4 years [hazard ration (HR), 0.52; 95 percent confidence interval (CI), 0.29-0.92; P=0.0250].

In addition, study investigators highlighted that patients in the TM group also saw improvements in blood pressure and psychosocial distress factors, particularly anger. Also of note, adherence to the TM program was associated with an even greater increase in survival. Patients who "were regular in their TM practice had a 66 percent risk reduction compared with the overall sample risk reduction of 48 percent," the investigators said.

Moving forward, the study investigators recommend future comparative effectiveness trials to address differential effects of mind–body interventions on CVD.

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