Meditation Beats Drugs for Heart Disease

Photo courtesy Julia Whitty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


A new clinical trial found that meditation cuts the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by nearly 50 percent in patients with existing coronary heart disease—making relaxation and mental focusing as effective as powerful new drugs in treating heart disease, reports AAAS News.

The study tested transcendental meditation on 201 African American patients with narrowed coronary arteries who were at high risk factor for heart attack and stroke. All the patients were given standard prescription drugs, as well as an educational course in cardiovascular health. Half the patients also practiced transcendental meditation for 15 to 20 minutes a day.

The results? Patients who mediated on top of standard treatment experienced 47 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes, and deaths compared to the control group. The benefits lasted more than 5 years and up to 9 years in some patients.

In comparison, statin drugs taken to reduce cholesterol levels only lessen the risks of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent relative to existing treatments. Common blood pressure drugs reduce these outcomes by only 25 to 30 percent. Meditation proves as powerful as any new class of heart disease medications entering the market.

Oh, and once you’ve learned the technique, it’s free.

Om.
 

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate