Yoga as a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome

The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

From European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome are major public health problems in the USA and worldwide. There is promising evidence of Yoga, a popular mind-body practice, on improving cardio-metabolic health. This review helps strengthen the evidence base for yoga as a potentially effective therapy for such conditions. The results support earlier reviews on the positive benefits of yoga for CVD prevention. The review demonstrates the potential of yoga to have an impact on concrete, physiological outcomes that represent some of the greatest health burdens today.

Abstract

Background Yoga, a popular mind-body practice, may produce changes in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Design This was a systematic review and random-effects meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods Electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were performed for systematic reviews and RCTs through December 2013. Studies were included if they were English, peer-reviewed, focused on asana-based yoga in adults, and reported relevant outcomes. Two reviewers independently selected articles and assessed quality using Cochrane’s Risk of Bias tool.

Results Out of 1404 records, 37 RCTs were included in the systematic review and 32 in the meta-analysis. Compared to non-exercise controls, yoga showed significant improvement for body mass index (−0.77 kg/m2 (95% confidence interval −1.09 to −0.44)), systolic blood pressure (−5.21 mmHg (−8.01 to −2.42)), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−12.14 mg/dl (−21.80 to −2.48)), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.20 mg/dl (1.86 to 4.54)). Significant changes were seen in body weight (−2.32 kg (−4.33 to −0.37)), diastolic blood pressure (−4.98 mmHg (−7.17 to −2.80)), total cholesterol (−18.48 mg/dl (−29.16 to −7.80)), triglycerides (−25.89 mg/dl (−36.19 to −15.60), and heart rate (−5.27 beats/min (−9.55 to −1.00)), but not fasting blood glucose (−5.91 mg/dl (−16.32 to 4.50)) nor glycosylated hemoglobin (−0.06% Hb (−0.24 to 0.11)). No significant difference was found between yoga and exercise. One study found an impact on smoking abstinence.

Conclusions There is promising evidence of yoga on improving cardio-metabolic health. Findings are limited by small trial sample sizes, heterogeneity, and moderate quality of RCTs.

 

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Article detailS
Original scientific paper:
Paula Chu, Rinske A Gotink, Gloria Y Yeh, Sue J Goldie, and MG Myriam Hunink
The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2047487314562741, first published on December 15, 2014 doi:10.1177/2047487314562741

 

 

 

     
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