Research: WOLFF and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 262

Abstract

WOLFF and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; 2. The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 3. Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 4. Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA evaluated the effect of yoga upon blood pressure (BP) and quality of life (QOL).

Background

The present study was designed to evaluate yoga's impact on blood pressure (BP) and quality of life (QOL) and on stress, depression and anxiety in patients with hypertension in a primary care setting.

Methodology

The authors conducted a multi-centre randomized controlled trial with follow-up after 12-week intervention completion. Adult primary care patients diagnosed with hypertension were randomly allocated to yoga or usual care. The intervention group performed a short home-based Kundalini yoga programme 15 min twice-daily during the 12-week intervention period. At baseline and follow-up, the participants underwent standardized BP measurements and completed questionnaires on QOL, stress, anxiety and depression.

Results

Data obtained from 191 patients (mean age 64.7 years, s.d. 8.4) allocated to yoga intervention (n=96) and control group (n=95), with a total proportion of 52% women, showed a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic BP for both groups (-3.8/-1.7 mm Hg for yoga and -4.5/-3.0 mm Hg for control groups, respectively). However, the BP reduction for the yoga group was not significantly different from control. There were small but significant improvements for the yoga group in some of the QOL and depression measures (P<0.05, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, HADS-D) compared with control.

Conclusion

The findings of our study, which is the largest study from an OECD country (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) to date, do not support the suggestion from previous smaller studies that yoga lowers the BP. Further clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings. However, the yoga patients had other health benefits.

References

Wolff M1, Rogers K2, Erdal B1, Chalmers JP2,3, Sundquist K1,4, Midlöv P1. Impact of a short home-based yoga programme on blood pressure in patients with hypertension: a randomized controlled trial in primary care. J Hum Hypertens. 30(10):599-605. Oct 2016. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2015.123. Epub Jan 21 2016.

 

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