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Ethn Dis. 2008 Winter;18(1):1-5.

Impact of breathing awareness meditation on ambulatory blood pressure and sodium handling in prehypertensive African American adolescents.

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Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912, USA.



This study evaluated the impact of a breathing awareness meditation (BAM) program on ambulatory blood pressure and sodium handling in African American adolescents with high-normal systolic blood pressure (SBP) levels.


Following three consecutive days of SBP screenings, 66 eligible ninth graders were randomly assigned by school to either BAM (n = 20) or health education control (n = 46) groups. The BAM group engaged in 10-minute BAM sessions at school and at home each day for three months. Teachers conducted sessions at school during health classes. Before and after the intervention, overnight urine samples were collected, and ambulatory SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded periodically for 24 hours.


Significant changes before and after the intervention were observed between BAM and control groups for SBP during school hours (-4.7 vs .9 mm Hg, P < .05), SBP at night (-4.8 vs -.6 mm Hg, P < .01), and heart rate during school hours (-6.7 vs -2.3 bpm, P < .02), adjusted for their respective preintervention levels. The overnight urinary sodium excretion rate decreased in the BAM group but increased in the control group (-.3 +/- 4.9 vs 1.1 +/- 4.0 mEq/hour, P < .03).


These findings demonstrate the potential beneficial impact of BAM taught by school health teachers on blood pressure control in the natural environment in African American youth at risk for development of hypertension.

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