Heart Health

Can meditation help your heart?

People who practice this mind-calming technique may be less likely to have risk factors linked to heart disease.

2fbcfa33-4407-4638-99f2-73cd15e792a8Millions of Americans are using modern technology — via apps on their smartphones — to practice meditation, an ancient tradition that helps promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Last year's deluge of stress-inducing news was a boon for the meditation app business, which has evolved into a billion-dollar industry.

Growing evidence suggests that meditation may also improve factors linked to cardiovascular health. The latest comes from a Sept. 15, 2020, article in the American Journal of Cardiology. Researchers studied more than 61,000 people who took part in the two most recent National Health Interview Surveys (done in 2012 and 2017). Nearly 10% of the participants said they practiced some form of meditation. After adjusting for age, sex, sleep, depression, and other possible confounding factors, researchers found people who meditated had a lower prevalence of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary artery disease compared with people who didn't meditate.

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