Meditation And Heart Disease

Meditation may help reduce the risk of heart disease according to a first-ever statement on the practice from the American Heart Association. The statement was based on a review of 57 previously published studies by a group of cardiovascular experts who were tasked with evaluating whether meditation has any impact on heart disease. The team excluded studies involving meditation practiced in conjunction with activities such as yoga and tai chi because it is already established that physical activities like these have positive effects on cardiovascular health. The investigators reported that while the research they reviewed suggests that meditation might benefit the heart, the overall quality and size of available studies is modest and did not lead to conclusive findings. As things now stand “meditation should be considered as a potential lifestyle modification” to help boost cardiovascular health, the team concluded. But Glenn N. Levine, M.D. who led the review warned that meditation shouldn’t be used to replace proven measures, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure control and treatment of high cholesterol levels. Larger trials that follow patients for a longer time could help determine just how beneficial meditation can be for heart health, Dr. Levine said.

Source:
Glenn N. Levine et al, “Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction.” Journal of the American Heart Association, September 28, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.117.002218

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