Meditation may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
The researchers used data from a national survey conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All patients with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and diseases of the coronary arteries as well as all patients who claimed to have meditated were identified. Out of 61,267 respondents, 5,851 participated in meditation. The Study is in the American Journal of Cardiology.
After checking age, gender, BMI, marital status, smoking, sleep duration and depression, they found that meditation was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of high cholesterol, a 14 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, and a 30 percent lower risk Diabetes, a 24 percent lower risk of stroke and a 49 percent lower risk of coronary artery disease.
The lead author, Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong of Baylor College of Medicine said that the reduction in stress that meditation can offer could at least partially explain the outcome. However, he warned that the study was an observational study and that clinical studies would be needed to determine the mechanism that explains the relationship. He added that the study did not differentiate between the many different types of meditation.
Still, he said, “I believe that any type of meditation would have benefits in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”