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Meditating helps teens with high blood pressure: Study

June 7, 2012
Toronto Sun

Regular meditation can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in teens who have high blood pressure, a new study has found.

Researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University had 62 black teens with high blood pressure meditate twice a day for 15 minutes. A control group of teens with high blood pressure didn’t meditate. The study found the teens who meditated had a lower left ventricular mass — an indicator of future cardiovascular disease — than the control group, researcher Dr. Vernon Barnes said in a release about the study.

“Increased mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure,” Barnes explained. “Some of these teens already had higher measures of left ventricular mass because of their elevated blood pressure, which they are likely to maintain into adulthood.”

Barnes said the meditation, even though it was only for 15 minutes each time, was like a period of deep rest.

As a result, the vasculature relaxes, blood pressure drops and the heart works less,” he said.

The study says one in 10 black youths have high blood pressure.

“If practiced over time, the meditation may reduce the risk of these teens developing cardiovascular disease, in addition to other added health benefits,” he said.

The study appears in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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