Meditation & Your Heart
To learn more about the effects of meditation on heart health researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai looked at data from nearly 6,000 people enrolled in a national health survey who reported that they practiced some form of meditation. The researchers concluded that these participants had lower rates of high cholesterol, better blood pressure, fewer cases of diabetes, and decreased incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease compared to their non-meditating peers. The investigators didn’t determine what type of meditation the participants performed and suggested that some practices may benefit cardiovascular health more than others. They also didn’t seek information on the duration or intensity of meditation and commented that perhaps people who are in better cardiovascular health to begin with are more likely to practice meditation, rather than the other way around. But even after controlling for age, sex, cigarette smoking, body mass index and other factors related to heart disease, the researchers determined that the positive effect of meditation on heart health was significant and is probably associated with a lower prevalence of cardiovascular risk.
Chayakrit Krittanawong et al, “Meditation and Cardiovascular Health in the US.” The American Journal of Cardiology, June 30, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.06.043
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