Evaluating Mechanisms of Blood Pressure Reduction Using Meditation in Hypertensive African Americans (HMEC)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00681200
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 21, 2008
Last Update Posted : March 13, 2013
Howard University
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert Schneider, MD, Maharishi University of Management

May 19, 2008
May 21, 2008
March 13, 2013
April 2008
July 2011   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
In-clinic and ambulatory blood pressure [ Time Frame: Measured at Month 4 ]
clinic and ambulatory blood pressure [ Time Frame: 4 months ]
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00681200 on Archive Site
  • Cardiovascular hemodynamics and stress hormones [ Time Frame: Measured at Month 4 ]
  • telomerase gene expression [ Time Frame: 4 months ]
    telomerase gene expression as measured HTERT and HTR
Cardiovascular hemodynamics and stress hormones [ Time Frame: 4 months ]
Not Provided
Not Provided
Evaluating Mechanisms of Blood Pressure Reduction Using Meditation in Hypertensive African Americans
Mechanisms of Meditation in Hypertension in Blacks
High blood pressure is a common health problem among people in the United States. This study will compare the effectiveness of a meditation program versus a health education program at decreasing stress and lowering blood pressure levels among African-American adults with high blood pressure.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the most common health problems among adults, particularly African Americans. If left untreated, it can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, or stroke. High blood pressure can be caused by many factors, including stress, diet, diabetes, kidney disease, or obesity. Typical treatments include taking medication, losing weight, and quitting smoking. Meditation may also be an effective way to decrease stress levels and lower blood pressure. This study will examine the effects of a specific type of meditation, Transcendental Meditation (TM), on stress and blood pressure levels. In previous studies, TM has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing blood pressure levels, but more research is needed to confirm these benefits. This study will compare the effectiveness of a TM program with an enhanced health education (EHE) program for reducing stress and blood pressure levels in African Americans with high blood pressure.

This 4-month study will enroll African Americans with early stage hypertension. First, participants will take part in 3 days of baseline testing, including a medical history review, blood pressure and heart rate measurements, an echocardiogram to obtain images of the heart, and blood and urine collection. Over a 24-hour period, blood pressure and heart rate will be measured continuously and participants will wear a pedometer to keep track of the distance they walk. Participants will also complete a stress test; a treadmill exercise test; and questionnaires on mental health, physical health, and lifestyle.

After the 3-day baseline period, participants will attend an informational meeting with the study staff and other study participants. They will then be randomly assigned to either the TM group or the EHE group. Participants in the TM group will learn a simple meditation technique over a 6-day period. They will be expected to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day for 4 months. Participants will attend follow-up meetings with a meditation instructor every 2 weeks throughout the study, and they will record their progress in a daily diary. Participants in the EHE program will take part in 14 events during the study, including watching educational films, listening to guest speakers, and participating in other instructional activities that will provide health information about blood pressure regulation. In addition, all participants will attend standard health education classes every 2 weeks. These classes will provide information about reducing the risk factors related to heart disease and stroke. Once a month, participants will attend a study visit and undergo blood pressure and heart rate measurements. At the end of the 4-month study period, all participants will undergo repeat baseline testing.

Not Applicable
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
  • Behavioral: Enhanced health education
    health education and social support
  • Behavioral: Transcendental Meditation program
    The TM program plus didactic-based health education classes
  • Active Comparator: Enhanced health education program
    This active treatment group consists of classes in health education and a social support group to enhance participant motivation and positive reinforcement to make healthier lifestyle choices (e.g. wholesome diet, increased exercise, reduced salt intake, and decreased use of alcohol and smoking). Note that is comparison group does not have a stress management component.
    Intervention: Behavioral: Enhanced health education
  • Experimental: Transcendental Meditation program
    Transcendental Meditation program plus health education. Basic AHA recommendations for lifestyle modification to reduce risk of heart disease will be given in a didactic classroom context.
    Intervention: Behavioral: Transcendental Meditation program
Duraimani S, Schneider RH, Randall OS, Nidich SI, Xu S, Ketete M, Rainforth MA, Gaylord-King C, Salerno JW, Fagan J. Effects of Lifestyle Modification on Telomerase Gene Expression in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Trial of Stress Reduction and Health Education Programs in African Americans. PLoS One. 2015 Nov 16;10(11):e0142689. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142689. eCollection 2015.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Same as current
May 2012
July 2011   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Self-identifies as African American
  • Resides in Washington, DC or surrounding communities
  • Has stage I hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure between 140 and 159 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 99 mm Hg, on average, without taking antihypertensive medications in the sympatholytic class (e.g., beta blockers, alpha antagonists, central nervous system agonists)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Blood pressure levels of less than 140/90 mm Hg or greater than 160/100 mm Hg
  • History of clinical cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart attack, angina, intermittent claudication, congestive heart failure, stroke)
  • Long-term kidney failure
  • Any other life-threatening illness (e.g., advanced cancer)
  • History of major psychiatric disorder (e.g., psychosis, dementia, substance abuse disorder)
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
40 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
R01HL083944-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
1R01HL083944-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Not Provided
Not Provided
Robert Schneider, MD, Maharishi University of Management
Maharishi University of Management
  • Howard University
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Otelio Randall, MD Howard University
Maharishi University of Management
March 2013

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP