Meditation may prevent heart attacks or strokes.
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Meditation may prevent heart attacks or strokes.

People with heart disease who meditate for 20 minutes a day are 48 percent less likely to die prematurely of a heart attack or stroke, says a new study from the U.S.'s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Researchers tracked 200 people for more than five years and found that meditation lowers blood pressure and improves anger control. The study asked participants to sit quietly with eyes closed for 20 minutes twice daily, but most did so only once a day - and results were still impressive. "Stress on the brain hurts the heart because stress hormones like cortisol damage arterial walls," says lead author Dr. Robert Schneider.