DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20160003

Meditation as primary intervention strategy in prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Yadneshwar Khobragade, Adinegara Bin Lutfi Abas, Barua Ankur, Sujata khobragade

Abstract


Heart diseases especially Hypertension, Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD) and stroke are the leading causes of death all over the world. Hostility, anxiety, depression and increased reactivity to mental stress have been strongly associated with hypertension and CAD. Mental stress or anxiety causes increased sympathetic activation and poor vagus nerve control over heart.  Imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system leads to vasospasm and has been associated with Hypertension, Coronary Artery Disease and Myocardial Infarction. Psychosocial stress has also been found to be responsible for imbalance in autonomic nervous system, causing sympathetic dominance over parasympathetic leading to acute coronary events. Meditation is a process of self-contemplation and purification of mind. Practitioner of meditation brings about desirable changes in their behaviour and lifestyle. During Meditation sympathetic activity is reduced and there is parasympathetic dominance over sympathetic. During meditation and after meditation person feels calm, quiet and relaxed. Meditation causes decrease in metabolic rate. The blood pressure may come to normal or falls, pulse rate comes to normal or low, vascular spasm if any, is reduced and myocardial perfusion increase. Thus meditation helps in preventing hypertension, coronary artery disease and other cardiac events.  This may be beneficial before a person gets coronary event and post-myocardial infarction.   In view of the beneficial effects of meditation, it may be introduced as primary intervention strategy in preventing Cardio-vascular Diseases. We did this review study to find out: (1) Can meditation bring about desirable changes in human mind and body in post-intervention group compared to control group? (2) Its effectiveness in prevention of heart diseases like hypertension, coronary events and post-MI complications. This review included all randomised controlled trials on patients above 18 years, both sexes, any setting with medication & meditation or meditation, Controlled group was on medication alone. Clustered and crossover studies were excluded.


Keywords


Meditation, Healthy lifestyle, Hypertension, Coronary artery disease, Myocardial infarction, Equanimeous, Non-judgemental, Mindfulness, Hostility, Stress, Anxiety

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