Objective: This study examined the impact of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program on cardiovascular (CV) reactivity in adolescents with high normal BP.
Method: Thirty-five adolescents [34 African Americans (AAs), 1 Caucasian American (CA); ages 15-18 years] with resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) between the 85th and 95th percentile for their age and gender on three consecutive occasions, were randomly assigned to either TM (n=17) or health education control (CTL, n=18) groups. The TM group engaged in 15-min meditation twice each day for 2 months including sessions during school lunch break. Primary CV outcome measures were changes in blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and cardiac output (CO) at rest and in response to two laboratory stressors, a simulated car driving stressor and an interpersonal social stressor interview.
Results: The TM group exhibited greater decreases in resting SBP (P<.03) from pre- to postintervention, compared to the CTL group. The TM group exhibited greater decreases from pre- to postintervention in SBP, HR, and CO reactivity (P's<.03) to the simulated car driving stressor, and in SBP reactivity (P<.03) to the social stressor interview.
Conclusion: The TM program appears to have a beneficial impact upon CV functioning at rest and during acute laboratory stress in adolescents at-risk for hypertension.