African Americans experience higher morbidity and mortality than Whites do as a result of hypertension and associated cardiovascular disease. Chronic psychosocial stress has been considered an important contributing factor to these high rates. The authors describe the rationale and design for a planned randomized controlled trial comparing Transcendental Meditation, a stress-reduction technique, with lifestyle education in the treatment of hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in urban African Americans. They pretested 170 men and women aged 20 to 70 years over a 3-session baseline period, with posttests at 6 months. Outcomes included clinic and ambulatory blood pressure, quality of life, left ventricular mass measured by M-mode echocardiography, left ventricular diastolic function measured by Doppler, and carotid atherosclerosis measured by [beta]-mode ultrasound. This trial was designed to evaluate the hypothesis that a selected stress reduction technique is effective in reducing hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in African Americans., (C) 2001 by the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. Copyright is retained by the author where noted.
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