Heart disease patients who practise Transcendental Meditation have reduced death rates, US researchers have said.
At a meeting of the American Heart Association they said they randomly assigned 201 African Americans to meditate or to make lifestyle changes.
After nine years, the meditation group had a 47% reduction in deaths, heart attacks and strokes.
The research was carried out by the Medical College in Wisconsin with the Maharishi University in Iowa.
It was funded by a £2.3m grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The African American men and women had an average age of 59 years and narrowing of the arteries in their hearts.
The meditation group practised for 20 minutes twice a day.
The lifestyle change group received education classes in traditional risk factors, including dietary modification and exercise.
As well as the reductions in death, heart attacks and strokes in the meditating group, there was a clinically significant drop (5mm Hg) in blood pressure.
And a significant reduction in psychological stress in some participants….