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J Adolesc Health. 2011 Jan;48(1):59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.05.019. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Breathing awareness meditation and LifeSkills Training programs influence upon ambulatory blood pressure and sodium excretion among African American adolescents.

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Medical University of South Carolina, College of Nursing and Medicine, 99 Jonathon Lucas Street, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



To evaluate the effect of breathing awareness meditation (BAM), Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST), and health education control (HEC) on ambulatory blood pressure and sodium excretion in African American adolescents.


Following 3 consecutive days of systolic blood pressure (SBP) screenings, 166 eligible participants (i.e., SBP >50th-95th percentile) were randomized by school to either BAM (n = 53), LST (n = 69), or HEC (n = 44). In-school intervention sessions were administered for 3 months by health education teachers. Before and after the intervention, overnight urine samples and 24-hour ambulatory SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate were obtained.


Significant group differences were found for changes in overnight SBP and SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate over the 24-hour period and during school hours. The BAM treatment exhibited the greatest overall decreases on these measures (Bonferroni adjusted, ps < .05). For example, for school-time SBP, BAM showed a change of -3.7 mmHg compared with no change for LST and a change of -.1 mmHg for HEC. There was a nonsignificant trend for overnight urinary sodium excretion (p = .07), with the BAM group displaying a reduction of -.92 ± 1.1 mEq/hr compared with increases of .89 ± 1.2 mEq/hr for LST and .58 ± .9 mEq/hr for HEC group.


BAM appears to improve hemodynamic function and may affect sodium handling among African American adolescents who are at increased risk for development of cardiovascular disease.

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