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Yoga is an exercise that incorporates deep breathing, relaxation and stretching exercises and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. The mechanisms through which yoga may reduce BP are inadequately explored and comparative studies of yoga versus its constituent parts on HR, Pulse Pressure (PP), Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) and BP are lacking.
From a single cardiovascular prevention clinic, sixty healthy volunteers were recruited and randomized equally into a relaxation group, a stretching group, a deep breathing group and a yoga group. 24 hour ambulatory BP and HR were obtained using at baseline and after three months of performing their respective routines for 15 minutes 5 times per week.
Groups appeared well matched at baseline with no significant demographic or hemodynamic differences. The quiet relaxation group saw no significant difference in HR, PP, MAP or BP. The stretching group had a 4.5% (p<0.0001) reduction in systolic BP and saw similar reductions in diastolic BP, PP, MAP and HR. In the deep breathing group, a 7.1% reduction in systolic BP was noted at 3 months from baseline(p<0.0001). Similar changes were found for diastolic BP, PP, MAP and HR. The yoga group was found to reduce systolic BP by 9.7% at three months compared to baseline(p<0.0001) representing a significantly greater reduction than stretching or relaxation groups. Similar comparative results were found for diastolic BP, PP, MAP and HR. There was no significant difference in change in measured hemodynamics between the yoga and deep breathing groups after the 3-month intervention.
Stretching, deep breathing, and yoga, all appeared to reduce BP, PP, MAP and HR with the greatest improvements observed with the latter two exercises. This suggests that deep breathing exercises may be a significant contributor to the anti-hypertensive effects of yoga.
Poster Hall, Hall A/B
Monday, March 12, 2018, 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Session Title: Strategies to Improve the Treatment and Control of High Blood Pressure
Abstract Category: 33. Prevention: Hypertension
Presentation Number: 1304-425
- 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation