Transcendental Meditation To Reduce LVH in African Americans Interview with:

Robert H. Schneider, MD, FACC Director, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention Dean, College of Integrative Medicine Maharishi University of Management Fairfield, Iowa 52556

Dr. Schneider

Robert H. Schneider, MD, FACC
Director, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention
Dean, College of Integrative Medicine
Maharishi University of Management
Fairfield, Iowa 52556 What is the background for this study?

Response: Abnormal enlargement of heart, known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). It doubles the risk for heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, and mortality.

African Americans have twice the rate of LVH compared to whites. This may partly explain the disproportionally high CVD death rates in blacks.

Psychosocial stress contributes the development of LVH and CVD. African Americans are exposed to excess psychosocial stress imposed by socioeconomic disparities and racism.

However, there is little known about the potential role of stress reduction in the prevention of LVH in the general population or African Americans in particular. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess if stress reduction with Transcendental Meditation could prevent left ventricular hypertrophy in African Americans and thereby help to prevent subsequent heart disease. What are the main findings?

Response: The study showed that Transcendental Meditation practice prevented heart enlargement in hypertensive African Americans patients. After 6-months, the control group showed nearly 10% progression of abnormal heart enlargement while the TM group maintained their baseline level of heart size.

Transcendental Meditation and Heart Disease.png What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The findings of this study suggest that Transcendental Meditation practice is an effective non-drug method for preventing heart enlargement in African American hypertensives who, especially, are at high risk of developing associated CVD.

The findings support the recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association that emphasized the potential for stress-reducing interventions that promote positive psychological health and ultimately health outcomes in African Americans. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: We recommend future replications with larger and diverse populations. We also recommend future research to further elucidate the biologic mechanisms affected by TM to prevent LVH. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Based on this and other related studies that have shown decreased rates of death, heart attack and stroke with Transcendental Meditation practice (Circulation Cardiovascular quality and outcomes. 2012;5(6):750-758; and The American Journal of Cardiology. 2005;95(9):1060-1064), we recommend that TM practice be considered for use in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in at risk individuals, either African American or otherwise.

We also recommend that insurance companies consider reimbursement for effective mind-body methods, such as Transcendental Meditation..


Ethn Dis. 2019 Oct 17;29(4):577-586. doi: 10.18865/ed.29.4.577. eCollection 2019 Fall.

Stress Reduction in the Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education in Hypertensive African Americans.

Schneider RH1Myers HF2Marwaha K1Rainforth MA1Salerno JW1Nidich SI1Gaylord-King C1Alexander CN1Norris KC3.



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Last Modified: Jan 8, 2020 @ 12:47 am 

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