Research: NIDICH and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 182

Abstract

NIDICH and COLLEAGUES, Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management Research Institute, Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, USA. snidich@mum.edu conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effects of a mind-body intervention on blood pressure, distress and coping in college students.

Background

Psychological distress contributes to the development of hypertension in young adults. This trial assessed the effects of a mind-body intervention on blood pressure (BP), psychological distress, and coping in college students.

Methodology

This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 298 university students randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program or wait-list control. At baseline and after 3 months, BP, psychological distress, and coping ability were assessed. A subgroup of 159 subjects at risk for hypertension was analyzed similarly.

Results

Changes in systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP) for the overall sample were -2.0/-1.2 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +0.4/+0.5 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.15, P = 0.15, respectively). Changes in SBP/DBP for the hypertension risk subgroup were -5.0/-2.8 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +1.3/+1.2 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.014, P = 0.028, respectively). Significant improvements were found in total psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping (P values < 0.05). Changes in psychological distress and coping correlated with changes in SBP (P values < 0.05) and DBP (P values < 0.08).

Conclusion

This is the first RCT to demonstrate that a selected mind-body intervention, the TM program, decreased BP in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension. This mind-body program may reduce the risk for future development of hypertension in young adults.

References

Nidich SI, Rainforth MV, Haaga DA, Hagelin J, Salerno JW, Travis F, Tanner M, Gaylord-King C, Grosswald S and Schneider RH. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. American Journal of Hypertension. 22(12): 1326-31, Dec 2009.

Comment

The above randomized controlled trial (RCT) demonstrates that Transcendental Meditation (TM) decreased blood pressure and improved measures for psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility and coping, which may help to reduce future risk of developing hypertension.

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