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New Study Shows Reduced Mortality, Heart Attack, Stroke
A landmark study shows a reduction in the rate of mortality, heart attack, and stroke among those who practiced the Transcendental Meditation® technique compared to a control group has now been published in a journal of the American Heart Association.

The results of the study have been covered by media worldwide such as Time Online, CNN, NBC, ABC, WebMD, Huffington Post, and Health Day.

The headline on Time Online read, “Strongest Study Yet Shows Meditation Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke.” The article noted the rigor of the study, saying, “The great lengths to which the researchers of the Circulation study went to make their trial scientifically rigorous, however, should reinforce the results in the eyes of some skeptics.”

The randomized controlled trial involved 201 African Americans with heart disease. Over a period of more than five years, the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die from all causes compared with participants who attended a conventional health education class.

Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger. The more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival.

“We hypothesized that managing the mind-body connection would help prevent this epidemic disease,” said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, lead researcher and dean of MUM’s Maharishi College of Perfect Health. “It appears that the Transcendental Meditation technique turns on the body’s own pharmacy to repair and maintain itself.”

Researchers evaluated participants every six months. They found blood pressure was reduced by 5 mm Hg and anger decreased significantly compared to controls. Both groups showed beneficial changes in exercise and alcohol consumption, and the meditation group showed a trend towards reduced smoking.

Dr. Schneider said cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The researchers focused on African Americans because of their higher rates of cardiovascular disease.

“The Transcendental Meditation technique may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions,” Dr. Schneider said. “The research on the Transcendental Meditation technique and cardiovascular disease is established well enough that physicians may safely and routinely prescribe this easy-to-implement, standardized, and practical program for their patients.”

MUM coauthors of the study, which was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, include Maxwell Rainforth, Sanford Nidich, Carolyn Gaylord-King, John Salerno, and Charles Alexander.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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