Decrease in blood pressure and improved psychological aspects through meditation training in hypertensive older adults: A randomized control study

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2015 Oct;15(10):1158-64. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12414. Epub 2014 Nov 19.


Aim: The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of Zen meditation on blood pressure (BP) and quality of life in elderly subjects.

Methods: A total of 59 volunteers (21 men and 38 women), aged ≥60 years with systolic BP between 130 and 159 mmHg and diastolic BP between 85 and 99 mmHg, were randomly divided into a meditation group (MG), n = 28 and a control group (CG), n = 31. The MG meditated twice a day for 20 min for 3 months, and the CG remained on a waiting list. The BP levels were measured monthly in both groups. The volunteers' medication was kept stable. A quality of life assessment instrument was applied at the beginning and end of the study.

Results: For systolic BP, analysis of variance showed the influence of time (F(4,228) = 4.74, P < 0.01, β = 0.98) and the interaction group × time (F(4,228) = 3.07, P < 0.01, β = 0.89). The MG showed a significant decrease in systolic BP levels in the second measurement after 1 month of meditation practice when compared with the CG (Newman-Keuls test, P < 0.05). Starting at the second measurement, systolic BP levels in the MG were lower than the baseline and first measurement levels; however, the systolic BP levels were similar to those observed in the CG. In the quality of life assessment evaluation, a significant improvement in psychological aspects and overall quality of life in the MG compared with the CG was observed.

Conclusion: These results suggest that Zen meditation is an interesting tool as a complementary treatment for hypertension in elderly subjects.

Keywords: elderly; hypertension; meditation; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / psychology*
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents