WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- A trial of transcendental meditation in patients with coronary artery disease found meditation significantly cut cardiac risk factors.
A 16-week study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of 103 CAD patients with an average age of 67 showed that the meditation group had significantly lower blood pressure, improved fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, and stability in their autonomic nervous systems.
Eighty-two percent of the patients completed the study.
"These ... effects were accomplished without changes in body weight, medication, or psychosocial variables," the study authors wrote in the June 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
They said the results expanded their understanding of the role of stress produced by modern society, and explained that stress caused the release of cortisol and other hormones and neurotransmitters that damage the cardiovascular system over time.
The authors added that transcendental meditation might modulate the response to stress -- similar to the physiological impact of exercise conditioning -- and warranted further study.