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Transcendental Meditation 'a potential critical strategy' for treatment of cardiovascular disease: Dr Abraham Bornstein

Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals -
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8 March 2010

A statement by eminent cardiologist Dr Abraham Bornstein about the value of Transcendental Meditation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease is featured on the new website

Dr Bornstein, a board-certified cardiologist and Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, holds a faculty appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, USA. He did his undergraduate work at Boston University, graduating magna cum laude in 1969, and earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine, graduating cum laude in 1973. Dr Bornstein trained in Internal Medicine followed by a cardiology fellowship, at The Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Bornstein has done cardiovascular research in the areas of electrophysiology, pacemaker insertion and congenital heart disease, and also spent time on the pediatric cardiology service.

He was a Principal Partner of Cardiology Associates of Fairfield County PC and practiced invasive/interventional cardiology for 20 years. He was Associate Director of the Heart Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center in Stamford, CT. and served as a member of the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medical Advisory Committee. He also served as a member of the Connecticut Hospital Association Panel of Clinical Excellence in Cardiology, where he was intimately involved with the establishment of clinical guidelines and other quality of care initiatives.

Dr. Bornstein also trained in cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Nuclear Cardiology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.

In his statement on the website, Dr Bornstein says that an estimated 80 million people in the United States today (one in three) have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. 'About 90 percent of those individuals have been exposed to at least one of the following major risk factors,' he said:

'1) high total blood cholesterol levels, or medication with cholesterol-lowering drugs;
2) hypertension, or medication with blood pressure lowering drugs;
3) cigarette use;
4) clinical report of diabetes.

'As a clinical cardiologist, I've found the Transcendental Meditation technique to be a simple, universally applicable technique,' he continued. 'It significantly improves neurophysiological coordination and psychological balance, both of which have a major impact on the four major cardiovascular risk factors.'

Dr Bornstein said that a review of the published literature shows that patients with established cardiovascular disease who regularly practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique not only reported less frequent bouts of anginal chest pain, but had decreased ischemia during exercise tolerance testing.

'Their exercise capacity increased as anginal symptoms diminished, and their ECG results showed less severe coronary insufficiency,' Dr Bornstein continued. 'These physiological changes led to a statistically significant clinical improvement in cardiovascular risk, including a decrease in LDL cholesterol and lowering of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The published literature also showed a reduction of insulin resistance, which is considered a critical risk factor for the development of diabetes, exacerbation of hypertension, and progression of cardiovascular disease.

'To put these findings in context, mortality data from The National Center for Health Statistics indicated that cardiovascular disease was the underlying cause of death for 35.3% of America's 2.4 million deaths in 2005,' he continued.

'In fact, in every year since 1900, except during the 1918 flu epidemic, cardiovascular disease has accounted for more U.S. deaths than any other single cause of disease or group of causes. Nearly 2,400 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds.'

Dr Bornstein said that he emphasizes 'these gruesome statistics simply to highlight the importance of this data, which makes decreased cardiovascular death and increased overall longevity in those who regularly practice the Transcendental Meditation technique a potential critical strategy, simple to deploy, and universally applicable.'

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