Statements from Cardiologists
Noel Bairey Merz, MD, professor of medicine at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center and director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, comments on the American Heart Association’s statement that the Transcendental Meditation technique lowers high blood pressure and that there is insufficient evidence on forms of meditation other than the TM technique at this time:
“We are gratified that our research demonstrating the efficacy of Transcendental Meditation on blood pressure is being recognized and hope that this consensus will result in its wider use in clinical practice.”
Abraham Bornstein, MD, FACC, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Science Education, Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine
“As a Board-Certified Cardiologist and Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine in the Division of Evidence-Based Medicine, I have reviewed and statistically analyzed the literature available on Transcendental Meditation which, I find, shows efficacy as both a preventive as well as treatment methodology for coronary heart disease. Transcendental Meditation is associated with statistically significant decreased hypertension and atherosclerosis, clinical improvements in patients with established heart disease, decreased hospitalization rates, and improvements in other risk factors including reduced stress and even decreased smoking and cholesterol. These findings cannot be generalized to all meditation and stress reduction techniques. Read More
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men. Although the number of deaths has declined in men, over the past decade, it has increased in women; the issue is critical because up to 40% of initial cardiac events are fatal. Until recently, the prognosis of women with symptoms suggestive of coronary artery disease in the absence of vascular obstruction due to atherosclerotic plaque had been thought to be benign based on early cohort studies. More recently, evidence demonstrates that women with cardiac symptoms in the setting of normal or nonobstructive coronary arteries still have an unacceptably high risk of life threatening cardiac events.
The rate of repeated heart attacks and 1 year mortality rates are still higher in women than in men. Since sudden cardiac death is often the first manifestation of coronary artery disease in a high proportion of women, early identification of women at risk for heart disease is critical. Women’s coronary vessels, which are inherently structurally smaller in size, when pathologically impacted, appear to contain more diffuse atherosclerosis, and their microvasculature appear to be more frequently dysfunctional compared to men. Functionally, women’s vessels frequently show impaired vasodilator responses. Microvascular structural damage secondary to aging, hypertension, diabetes, left ventricular hypertrophy, and other processes is also likely to be important in ischemic heart disease in women. Considerable evidence indicates that coronary vessels of women with coronary heart disease may be more diseased compared to men.
Finally, a significant proportion of patients develop impaired flow during mental or emotional stress. Mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia has been associated with up to 3‐fold higher rate of cardiac events, independent of standard cardiac risk factors.”
Dr. Lourdes Garcia Mollinedo, Cardiologist, Cardiology Hospital of the National Medical Center Siglo XXI, Mexico City; Member, Mexican Society of Cardiology; Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico
“TM restores cellular physiology, awakens the main organizers of the body and ensures order and correct functioning of cells. The practical implication of this mechanism is to lower arterial pressure, reduce glucose and lipid levels, decrease cardiovascular risks and death from cardiovascular problems. TM is a cost-effective and cost-saving health intervention with positive economic impact for the individual, for society and for healthcare systems....The challenge for a woman in today's society is that of being an integral woman: productive, dignified, loving, unifying, complete and nourishing, while at the same time serene, calm, healthy and happy. This is impossible to reach if an integration process does not exist at various levels: cellular, mental, emotional, psychological, cerebral and spiritual, among others. This process of integration is benefited, facilitated and created through the Transcendental Meditation program. Because of the enormous responsibilities women have in their families and in society, I invest considerable time in my consultations to speak about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation and I prescribe it.”
Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, DO is an attending cardiologist and Director of Women’s Heart Health of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She has done fellowship training in both Preventive Cardiology and Cardiology. She recently released her book Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book: Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life. She is the host of Focus onHealth, a weekly magazine news show on WLNYTV. She has been awarded a New York Times Super Doctor, and a Castle and Connelly Top Doctor for Cardiovascular Disease.
Dr. Steinbaum is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, past Medical Director for the Young Professionals division of the American Heart Association, current National Spokesperson for the Go Red for Women campaign and chairperson of the Go Red for Women in NYC. She is the 2010 recipient of the American Heart Association: Young Heart Award for Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, and also the 2012 Women of Heart Honoree in recognition of leadership in Women’s Heart Health for Go Red in Westchester and Fairfield counties in NY state and Connecticut. Read More
Dr. Steinbaum has devoted her career to the treatment of heart disease through early detection, education, and prevention. She has lectured nationally on topics of coronary artery disease, women and heart disease, natural and alternative ways of treating heart disease and the prevention of heart disease. She is often cited in magazines and newspapers and is regularly seen on network news health segments for ABC, NBC and CBS, CNN, WPIX and FOX as a leading consultant in the field of women and heart disease, preventive cardiology and topics of lifestyle management. She is regularly interviewed for breaking news in U.S. News and World Report, Healthday and WebMD. She has written about cardiac prevention and nutrition and been quoted in many publications including Self, Glamour, More, Fitness, The Wall Street Journal and Family Circle. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Dr. Oz, Bottomline Health, and Sharecare.
Her unique perspectives on health, wellness and overall vitality by living a heart-centered life can be found at www.srsheart.com, on Facebook at Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum and Twitter at @DrSteinbaum.
Satinder Swaroop, MD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Board Certified American Boards of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Fellow American College Of Physicians, Fellow American College Of Cardiology, Fellow Society Of Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions
“Modern women have more issues with their heart health as compared with their predecessors. Many thoughts are being given to this cause. One of the factors may be that modern society is now paying more attention to the women’s health issues. Secondly, most modern women are not only involved in taking care of their families but also are working at various outside jobs. They are being exposed to a dual stress.
TM is known to provide tremendous health benefits. Research has shown TM can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress hormone levels. I am sure a regular practice of TM can markedly improve the heart health of modern women.”
John W. Zamarra, MD, FACC
“Ignoring gender specific differences in treating heart disease in women is a mistake! A womans heart has many subtle aspects that require a definite and unique personalized care program. A womans heart has been rigorously documented to need extra specialized treatment in all phases of medical, surgical, psychological, and environmental approaches to intervention and prevention of heart disease, the number one killer of women. By introducing the Transcendental Meditation program to a woman with heart disease, which adds the balancing and integration of mind and body, it profoundly establishes the necessary framework for complete healing. I strongly recommend it to all my female and male patients to treat them wholistically and bring relief on all levels.”