Meditation Reduces Heart Disease Risk in Teens

Meditation can reduce risk of heart diseases in teens who are at high-risk, says a new study.

For the study, a group of black teenagers were divided in to two. One group was trained in transcendental meditation while another was given information on heart diseases. The first group had to meditate twice a day for minutes each.

A study published in American Journal of Hypertension says that transcendental meditation can reduce blood pressure.

The study involved 62 black teenagers who meditated for 15 minutes twice a day. They had lower left ventricular mass than teenagers who did not meditate. A lower left ventricular mass means lower chances of heart disease.

“Increased mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure. 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," said Dr. Vernon Barnes, a physiologist in the Medical College of Georgia.

“Transcendental meditation results in a rest for the body that is often deeper than sleep. Statistics indicate that one in every 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," said Barnes.

Previous research has shown that mindfulness-based meditation can help old people cope with chronic low back pain.

Researchers also find meditation helpful in cancer therapy. Meditation can improve cancer-related cognitive dysfunction.

Meditation also causes the brain structure to change .People who have been meditating for many years have more gray matter than other people, says a study published in the journal NeuroReport.

Meditation is positively associated with improved cognitive flexibility and attention. Some experts say that mindfulness-based meditation can lower stress. It also helps children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Meditation, especially transcendental meditation can lower stress and anxiety among college –goers. A study said that a meditation program followed for two months was helpful in reducing anxiety in many students.

The present study is published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.