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Maharishi Vedic Science


Barnes, Vernon Anthony
Reduced cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in older African Americans practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program

Order No. 9701126

African Americans have a well-documented excess of CVD mortality which is at least in part due to psychosocial stress. The Transcendental Meditation® (TM) program has been reported to reduce psychological stress, cardiovascular risk factors and incidence of heart disease. A randomized controlled trial indicated that TM reduced hypertension significantly more than progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and an educational control (EC) in older (mean age = 67 years) Africans Americans after 3 months. Pilot research in Caucasian elderly has found a 73% reduction in all-cause and cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in the TM group compared to the combined control group.

Based on these findings, TM (n = 36) was hypothesized to reduce incidence of all-cause and CVD mortality compared to PMR (n = 37) and EC (n = 36) and a combined control (CC, n = 73) group among the African American participants with mild hypertension in the original BP study. After 5 years, an all-cause and CVD mortality follow-up was conducted with data provided from Vital Statistics, Sacramento, CA. Survival distributions were compared by the Wilcoxon and Cox proportional hazards tests. There were 0.0% (0/36) CVD fatalities for TM compared to 9.5% (7/73) for CC, and 8.5% (3/36) all-cause fatalities for TM compared to 19% (14/13) for CC. Both all-cause (P =.045) and CVD (P =.021) mortality were significantly lower for TM compared to combined controls. The relative risk (RR) for TM compared with combined controls was 0.00 (95% CI 0-0.63) for CVD mortality and 0.32 (95% CI 0-0.96) for all-cause mortality.

These findings suggest that TM practice may reduce incidence of CVD and all-cause mortality in older hypertensive African Americans. According to Maharishi's Vedic Approach to Health, TM enhances the holistic inner intelligence of mind and body, and thereby promotes balance in psychophysiological functioning and thus helps prevent premature disease and death. The demonstrated benefit for the Transcendental MeditationÒ program seems to have important implications for clinical and public health policy for reducing excessive CVD and all-cause mortality in African Americans. Source: DAI, 57, no. 08B, (1996): 4999


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