Mindfulness could lower elevated office blood pressure

The Effect of Adapted Mindfulness Training in Participants With Elevated Office Blood Pressure: The Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) Randomized Clinical Trial

News - Nov. 7, 2022

Presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions 2022 by: Eric Loucks, PhD - Providence, RI, USA

Introduction and methods

In the USA, 46% of the population suffer from hypertension, of whom 52% have uncontrolled hypertension. In the MB-BP (Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction) study, the hypothesis was tested that attending a mindfulness course leads to a clinically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) compared with enhanced usual care. In this parallel-group phase 2 RCT, 201 participants with elevated unattended office BP (systolic/diastolic ≥120/80 mmHg) were randomized 1:1 to the mindfulness-based program or enhanced usual care (control).

In the 8-week mindfulness-based program, participants were trained in mindfulness skills (e.g., self-awareness and emotion regulation), which they could apply to their relationships with determinants of BP such as physical activity and diet. Participants in the control group received health education material on hypertension management. Participants in both groups received a home BP monitor and instruction in home BP monitoring, and access to a primary care physician if needed. .

The primary endpoint was the change in unattended office SBP at 6 months.

Main results

  • At 6 months, the unattended office SBP in the mindfulness group was reduced by 5.9 mmHg (95%CI: –9.1 to –2.8; P<0.001); the difference with the control group was –4.5 mmHg (95%CI: –8.98 to –0.10; P=0.045).
  • Exploratory analyses showed that sedentary activity was decreased at 6 months in the mindfulness group compared with the control group (P=0.02), while physical activity showed a nonsignificant increase (P=0.12).
  • In the mindfulness group, the mindfulness (FFMQ ) score increased (P<0.001), but there was no significant difference in the diet (DASH) score (P=0.08).


Participating in an 8-week mindfulness-based program resulted in a 4.5-mmHg reduction in SBP at 6 months in individuals with elevated unattended office BP compared with enhanced usual care.

A previous meta-analysis of 344,716 participants showed that a 5 mmHg reduction translated to a 10% reduction of major CV events, which suggests that the BP lowering seen in the mindfulness-based program could potentially be clinically relevant.

-Our reporting is based on the information provided at the AHA Scientific Sessions-

Watch a video by Eric Loucks

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