HealthDay News – Yoga may help reduce blood pressure in patients who are at risk for developing hypertension, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Cardiological Society of India, held from December 8 to 11 in Kochi.

The new study included 60 individuals with prehypertension. The participants were randomly assigned to either practice hatha yoga while also making conventional lifestyle changes, or to a control group of just lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes included moderate aerobic exercise, eating a healthier diet, and quitting smoking.

The yoga group, average age 56, received yoga instruction for a month and then did the activity at home. It included stretching, controlled breathing, and meditation for 1 hour a day. The average age of the control group participants was 52.


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The researchers found that after 3 months, those in the yoga group had notable decreases in blood pressure, while those in the control group did not. Participants in the yoga group had 24-hour diastolic blood pressure and night diastolic blood pressure decreases of about 4.5 mm Hg, and 24-hour average arterial pressure decreases of about 4.9 mm Hg.

“Although the reduction in blood pressure was modest, it could be clinically very meaningful because even a 2 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure has the potential to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 6% and the risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack by 15%,” study author Ashutosh Angrish, MD, a cardiologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, India, said in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology. “Our research suggests that patients with prehypertension should be advised to practice hatha yoga for 1 hour daily. It may prevent the development of hypertension and in addition give a sense of well-being.”

Reference

Yoga reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension [news release]. Kochi, India: European Society of Cardiology Press Office. http://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/yoga-reduces-blood-pressure-in-patients-with-prehypertension. December 8, 2016.