Heart/Blood Pressure (65)
A study at the University of Milan with white collar workers being downsized shows that a simple stress reduction program could be implemented at the worksite, with possible preventive advantages for hypertension.
Researchers from the University of Milan compared 91 white-collar workers, enrolled at a time of work downsizing (hence, in a stress condition), with 79 healthy control subjects, for signs of altered nervous system or arterial pressure, and to test whether a simple, onsite stress management program, based on cognitive restructuring and relaxation training, could reduce the level of stress symptoms, revert stress-related autonomic nervous system dysregulation, and lower arterial pressure. This was compared to a sham program condition.
A total of 65 subjects, with a mean age of 65 (range, 42 to 76), were recruited for the study. Their cardiac diseases included myocardial infarct, post-coronary intervention, valve replacement, and ischemic heart disease. Patients were alternately allocated to two groups: the first group of patients received instructions and practiced progressive relaxation. The second group underwent training in qigong. A total of eight sessions were conducted, each session lasting 20 minutes.
Researchers from Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Minneapolis Heart Institute examined the effects of touch, music and imagery on 104 patients undergoing open heart surgery, measuring heart rate, blood pressure, pain and tension.
Researchers from Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Minneapolis Heart Institute examined the effectiveness of touch, music and imagery for the care of heart surgery patients. One hundred four patients undergoing open heart surgery were prospectively randomized to receive either complementary therapies (preoperative guided imagery training with gentle touch or light massage and postoperative music with gentle touch or light massage and guided imagery) or standard care.
Heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and pain and tension were measured preoperatively and as pre-tests and post-tests during the postoperative period. Complications were abstracted from the hospital record.
Researchers at the Bedford, Massachusetts V.A. Medical Center find that training patients suffering from moderate to severe heart failure to use the Relaxation Response improves quality of life but not exercise capacity.
Researchers at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital at the Bedford, Massachusetts V.A., tested the efficacy of teaching the Relaxation Response to patients with chronic heart failure (CRF), measuring effects on quality of life (QOL), and exercise capacity.
Between April 2000 and June 2002, 95 patients with moderate to severe CRF were enrolled in this single-blind, 3-arm, randomized, controlled trial. Patients in the intervention group attended a weekly RR group for 15 weeks, and were requested to practice the techniques at home twice a day.
A study from The Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents shows that meditation significantly reduces blood pressure and heart rate (resting and ambulatory) in normal middle school children.
In a randomized, controlled study, researchers from The Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents evaluated the impact of a meditation program on resting and ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate in middle school children.
Intracoronary and standard electrocardiograms were continuously registered, and heart rate spectral variability was measured. Normalized units of low- and high-frequency components and the ratio of low to high frequency were measured during balloon inflations
Two hundred thirty-two primary care patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder were culled from 6 primary care clinics associated with 3 university medical schools, all serving an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient population. Patients were randomized to receive either treatment as usual or an intervention consisting of a combination of up to 6 sessions (across 12 weeks) of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) modified for the primary care setting, with up to 6 follow-up telephone contacts during the next 9 months, and algorithm-based pharmacotherapy provided by the primary care physician with guidance from a psychiatrist.
Investigators from The Medical College of Georgia find that Transcendental Meditation lowers blood pressure in sixteen-year-old African American youth at risk for the development of hypertension.
Investigators from the Pediatric Department of The Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents and The Medical College of Georgia looked at the impact of stress reduction, by way of Transcendental Meditation (TM), on blood pressure (BP) in African-American adolescents averaging 16 years old (aged 16.2 +/- 1.3 years) with high normal systolic BP. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a 4-month TM group (n = 50) or health education control group (n = 50). Ambulatory 24-hour blood pressure measures were recorded at pretest, 2-month and 4-month post-tests, and at a 4-month follow-up.
The study found significantly greater decreases in daytime systolic BP (P < .04) and diastolic BP (P < .06) in the TM group, as compared with the control group, across all the visits, concluding that TM has a beneficial impact on youth at risk for the development of hypertension.
Normalized units of low- and high-frequency components and the ratio of low to high frequency were measured during balloon inflations. The ST segment shifted at the first balloon inflation from 0.02 +/- 0.01 to 0.09 +/- 0.6 mm in group 1 and from 0.02 +/- 0.08 to 0.1 +/- 0.6 in group 2 mm (p <0.05).
Biofeedback is shown to improve Heart Rate Variablity in patients with coronary artery disease a good thing, being as how diminished HRV is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in these patients.
In a randomized controlled trial at The California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego, researchers investigated whether biofeedback could improve heart rate variablity (HRV) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Diminished HRV is associated with increases in cardiac morbidity and mortality.
Sixty-three patients with CAD were randomly assigned to either conventional therapy or to six biofeedback sessions, consisting of abdominal breath training, heart and respiratory physiologic feedback, and daily breathing practice.