Effect of stress reduction through meditation on mortality of older people with high blood pressure

Psychosocial stress contributes to high blood pressure and subsequent heart attacks and mortality. Researchers in this study evaluated, over the long term, all-cause and cause-specific mortality in older people who had high blood pressure and who participated in randomised controlled trials that included meditation and other behavioural stress-decreasing interventions.  Compared with controls, the meditation group showed a 23% decrease in all-cause mortality. Further analyses showed a 30% decrease in the rate of cardiovascular mortality and a 49% decrease in the rate of mortality. These results suggest that a specific stress-decreasing approach used in the prevention and control of high blood pressure, such as meditation programmes, may contribute to decreased mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease in older subjects who have systemic high blood pressure.

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