Behavioral treatment of hypertensive heart disease in African Americans: rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial

Behav Med. Summer 2001;27(2):83-95. doi: 10.1080/08964280109595775.


African Americans experience higher morbidity and mortality than Whites do as a result of hypertension and associated cardiovascular disease. Chronic psychosocial stress has been considered an important contributing factor to these high rates. The authors describe the rationale and design for a planned randomized controlled trial comparing Transcendental Meditation, a stress-reduction technique, with lifestyle education in the treatment of hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in urban African Americans. They pretested 170 men and women aged 20 to 70 years over a 3-session baseline period, with posttests at 6 months. Outcomes included clinic and ambulatory blood pressure, quality of life, left ventricular mass measured by M-mode echocardiography, left ventricular diastolic function measured by Doppler, and carotid atherosclerosis measured by beta-mode ultrasound. This trial was designed to evaluate the hypothesis that a selected stress reduction technique is effective in reducing hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in African Americans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / epidemiology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies