Study on stress and blood pressure
July 19, 2012
Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Authors: Rainforth, M.V., Schneider, R.H., Nidich, S.I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J.W., Anderson, J.W.
Published: Current Hypertension Reports. 2007 Dec; vol 9(6): pp 520-8.
Methods: Substantial evidence indicates that psychosocial stress contributes to hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Previous meta-analyses of stress reduction and high blood pressure (BP) were outdated and/or methodologically limited. Therefore, we conducted an updated systematic review of the published literature and identified 107 studies on stress reduction and blood pressure. Seventeen trials with 23 treatment comparisons and 960 participants with elevated blood pressure met criteria for well-designed randomized controlled trials and were replicated within intervention categories.
Results: Meta-analysis was used to calculate blood pressure changes for biofeedback, -0.8/-2.0 mm Hg (P = NS); relaxation-assisted biofeedback, +4.3/+2.4 mm Hg (P = NS); progressive muscle relaxation, -1.9/-1.4 mm Hg (P = NS); stress management training, -2.3/-1.3 mm (P = NS); and the Transcendental Meditation program, -5.0/-2.8 mm Hg (P = 0.002/0.02). Available evidence indicates that among stress reduction approaches, the Transcendental Meditation program is associated with significant reductions in blood pressure. Related data suggest improvements in other cardiovascular disease risk factors and clinical outcomes.
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