Meditation may be linked to 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, strokes and diseases of the coronary arteries and all patients who stated that they had meditated were identified. Of 61,267 respondents, 5,851 took part in a meditation. The study is in the American Journal of Cardiology.
After checking age, gender, BMI, marital status, smoking, length of sleep, 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 the reduction in stress meditation can provide could at least partially explain the result. However, he cautioned that the study was an observational study and that clinical trials would be needed to determine the mechanism that explains the link. He added that the study made no distinction 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."