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Daily Dose: Meditation for Patients with Coronary Artery Disease


Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

On April 17, 2023, we reported on a study abstract presented at the European Society of Cardiology Preventive Cardiology 2023, the annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology.

The study

Researchers examined the effect of meditation on stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life (QoL) in 40 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who had attended an exercise-based cardiovascular rehabilitation program for at least 6 months. The average age of participants was 65 years and 20% were women. Participants were randomly allocated to 4 months of meditation practice in addition to usual care, or usual care alone. Usual care was continuing with the exercise program alone. Researchers used karuna meditation in the current study, which focuses on breathing and compassionate thoughts, according to the press release. Participants in the meditation group attended a weekly 90-minute session for 1 month. During the next 3 months, participants were asked to meditate for 20 minutes per day on their own or using a recording provided by investigators, and they received a weekly phone call to ask questions.

Stress, anxiety, depression, and QoL were assessed at baseline and after 4 months using the Perceived Stress Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, and HeartQoL questionnaire, respectively.

The findings

Between baseline and the end of the study, average depression, stress, and anxiety scores decreased in the meditation group by 44%, 31%, and 29%, respectively, compared to 3%, 3%, and 3% in the usual care group. Over the same time, researchers observed average scores on the emotional dimension of QoL increased by 60% in the meditation group and reduced by 2% in the usual care group.

Note from author

“Meditation is easy to do, can be done almost anywhere and does not require any equipment. Our study shows that meditation can improve psychological symptoms and quality of life in patients with heart disease, which we hope could also be the start of making healthier lifestyle choices.”

Click here for more details.

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