Meditation lengthens life

Heart disease patients who regularly practise transcendental meditation live longer, according to new American research

People who meditate regularly suffer half as many heart attacks and strokes, and live longer, according to new American research.

A nine-year study of 201 African Americans suffering from heart disease randomly assigned patients into two groups. One group practised transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice daily, the other were encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes including diet and exercise.

The meditators suffered 47 per cent fewer heart attacks and strokes and were less likely to die than the ‘healthy living‘ group.

In addition, there was a ‘significant’ drop in blood pressure and stress levels among the meditators.

The research, by the Medical College in Wisconsin with the Maharishi University in Iowa, follows many other studies showing the health benefits of meditation.

Robert Schneider, lead author, said this was the first clinical trial to show how transcendental meditation reduces the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and death, reports the BBC

He said the results were like adding a new class of drugs for the prevention of heart disease.

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