The development of meditation, as a stress reduction technique, helps prevent the premature onset of heart disease, specialists say.
Researchers from Maharishi International University in the United States used the meditation technique to prevent left ventricular hypertrophy, or enlargement of the heart.
Given that the physiology of stress contributes to heart enlargement, the hypothesis of managing the mind-body connection with transcendental meditation to prevent the disease process is raised,” explained the authors of the study, published in the journal Ethnicity & Disease.
Left ventricular hypertrophy is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attack, arrhythmia, stroke, heart failure and even death. On the other hand, it has been shown to increase the burden of psychosocial stress.
For the study, 85 people from the African-American population in the northern nation with high blood pressure were randomly assigned to a meditation group.
Experts found that reducing stress prevented heart enlargement.
Thus, they determined that the meditation technique is an effective non-pharmacological method for preventing heart hypertrophy in African Americans with hypertension who are at especially high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Preventing the progression of left ventricular hypertrophy also reduces the likelihood of associated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,’ they added.