a woman meditating on a beach
The AHA say that meditation may help to reduce heart disease risk, but further studies are needed.

A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association has concluded that meditation may help to lower heart disease risk, but that adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and adhering to medical advice should remain the primary prevention strategies.

The conclusion, which was recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, comes from a comprehensive review of existing studies investigating the effects of meditation on risk factors for heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, responsible for around 610,000 deaths in the country every year.

Heart disease refers to a number of conditions that impact the functioning of the heart, including coronary heart disease, irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, and heart attack.

Making lifestyle changes – such as quitting smoking, following a healthful diet, and exercising regularly – is considered key for lowering the risk of heart disease.

For individuals who have risk factors for heart disease, which may include high blood pressure and high cholesterol, combining lifestyle changes with medications may help. In recent years, studies have indicated that meditation may also benefit heart health.

For their review, Dr. Glenn N. Levine – chair of the writing group for the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Statement – and colleagues analyzed existing studies with the aim…