Research: WAHLSTROM and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 269

Abstract

WAHLSTROM and COLLEAGUES, 1. 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.3 Sophiahemmet University, Sweden; 3. 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Division of Internal Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden conducted a randomized controlled study to investigate whether yoga can improve QoL and decrease blood pressure and heart rate in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).

Background

Patients with atrial fibrillation often have an impaired quality of life (QoL). Practising yoga may decrease stress and have positive effects on mental and physical health. The aim of this study was to investigate whether yoga can improve QoL and decrease blood pressure and heart rate in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).

Methodology

In this pilot study, 80 patients diagnosed with PAF were randomized to standard treatment (control group, n=40) or standard treatment in combination with yoga (yoga group, n=40) during a 12-week period. QoL, blood pressure and heart rate were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study (12 (+2) weeks). EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the two dimensions in Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were used to evaluate QoL.

Results

At baseline there was a significant difference in QoL between the groups in EQ-5D VAS- scale ( p=0.02) and SF-36 mental health score ( p<0.001) in which the control group had higher scores. At the end of the study, the yoga group averaged higher SF-36 mental health scores. There was a significant difference between the two groups ( p=0.016), but no differences in EQ-5D VAS- scale and physiological health score was seen between the two groups. At the end of the study, the yoga group had significantly lower heart rate ( p=0.024) and systolic ( p=0.033) and diastolic blood pressure ( p<0.001) compared to the control group.

Conclusion

Yoga with light movements and deep breathing may lead to improved QoL, lower blood pressure and lower heart rate in patients with PAF compared to a control group. Yoga could be a complementary treatment method to standard therapy.

References

Wahlstrom M1,2, Rydell Karlsson M1,2, Medin J3,2, Frykman V1,3. Effects of yoga in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation - a randomized controlled study. Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 16(1):57-63. Jan 2017. doi: 10.1177/1474515116637734. Epub Jul 7 2016.

Comment

The above research demonstrated that yoga with light movements and deep breathing significantly improved QoL, resulted in lower blood pressure and lower heart rate in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) compared to a control group.

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