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

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

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Department of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Universidade Anhembi Morumbi-Laureate International Universities®, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Instituto Visão Futuro, Porangaba, São Paulo, Brazil.



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


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.


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.


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


elderly; hypertension; meditation; quality of life

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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