HealthDay News — Meditation may be considered as an adjunct to guideline-directed cardiovascular risk reduction, although the benefits need to be more fully established, according to a scientific statement published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Noting that numerous studies have reported on the benefits of meditation, Glenn N. Levine, MD, from the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, and colleagues conducted a systematic review on the potential benefits of meditation on cardiovascular risk.
Based on neurophysiological and neuroanatomical studies, the researchers found that meditation can have long-standing effects on the brain, which could account for the beneficial consequences on the physiological basal state and cardiovascular risk.
Studies of meditation suggest a potential benefit on cardiovascular risk, although the quantity and quality of study data are modest. Meditation may be considered as an adjunct to guideline-directed cardiovascular risk reduction by those who are interested, given the low costs and low risks of the intervention; participants should be aware that the benefits of the intervention remain to be established more fully.
“Further research on meditation and cardiovascular risk is warranted,” the authors write. “Such studies, to the degree possible, should utilize randomized study design, be adequately powered to meet the primary study outcome, strive to achieve low drop-out rates, include long-term follow-up, and be performed by those without inherent bias in outcome.”
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.
Levine GN, Lange RA, Bairey-Merz CN, et al. Meditation and cardiovascular risk reduction: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association [published online September 28, 2017]. JAHA. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.002218