Meditation Beats Drugs for Heart Disease

Photo courtesy Julia Whitty

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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.
 

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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