Usefulness of the Transcendental Meditation® Program in the Treatment of Patients With Coronary Artery Disease.

The American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 77, pp. 867-870, 1996.

John W. Zamarra, MD, Robert H. Schneider, MD, Italo Besseghini, MD, Donald K. Robinson, MS, and John W. Salerno, PhD.

Conducted at
The Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY; Veterans Administration Hospital, Buffalo, NY; and the Center for Health and Aging Studies, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA


This investigation was designed as a pilot study to test the hypothesis that stress reduction intervention with the Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) program would reduce exercise-induced myocardial ischemia in patients with known coronary artery disease. Twenty-one patients with documented coronary artery disease were prospectively studied. After baseline symptom-limited exercise tolerance testing, subjects were assigned to practice the TM technique or allocated to a wait-list control group. Single blind testing was repeated after an average 7.6 months of follow-up. Results showed that the patients who learned TM demonstrated significantly greater exercise tolerance, higher maximal workload, delayed onset of ST-segment depression, and decreases in double product at each exercise interval, compared with the control group. The reliability of the test data for assessing changes in exercise performance was supported by the relatively high reproducibility of the symptom-limited exercise tolerance test measures at baseline. The results suggest that practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program is useful in reducing exercise-induced myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease and may be considered beneficial for the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease.

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