Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Effect of 1-Week Yoga-Based Residential Program on Cardiovascular Variables of Hypertensive Patients: A Comparative Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Effect of 1-Week Yoga-Based Residential Program on Cardiovascular Variables of Hypertensive Patients: A Comparative Study

Article excerpt

Byline: Kashinath. Metri, Balaram. Pradhan, Amit. Singh, H. Nagendra

Introduction: Hypertension (HTN) is an important public health concern and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Yoga is a form of mind-body medicine shown to be effective in controlling blood pressure (BP) and reduces cardiac risk factors in HTN. Integrated approach of Yoga therapy (IAYT) is a residential yoga-based lifestyle intervention proven to be beneficial in several health conditions. Aim: To study the efficacy of 1 week of residential IAYT intervention on cardiovascular parameters in hypertensive patients. Methodology: Twenty hypertensive individuals (7 females) within age range between 30 and 60 years (average; 46.62 [+ or -] 9.9 years), who underwent 1 week of IAYT treatment for HTN, were compared with age- gender-matched non-IAYT group (5 females; average age; 47.08 [+ or -] 9.69 years) in terms of systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), cardiac output (CO), stroke volume (SV), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and total peripheral vascular resistance (TPVR), IAYT program consisted of sessions of asanas, breathing practices, meditation and relaxation techniques, low salt, low-calorie diet, devotional session, and counseling. Individuals in non-IAYT group followed their normal routine. All the variables were assessed before and after one week. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16. RM-ANOVA was applied to assess within group and between group changes after intervention. Results: There was a significant improvement in SBP (P = 0.004), DBP (P = 0.008), MAP (0.03), BRS (P < 0.001), and TPVR (P = 0.007) in IAYT, group whereas in control group, we did not find significant difference in any of the variables. Between-group comparison showed a significant improvement in SBP (P = 0.038), BRS (P = 0.034), and TPVR (P = 0.015) in IAYT group as compared to non-IAYT group. Conclusion: One-week IAYT intervention showed an improvement in baroreflex sensitivity, systolic BP, and total peripheral vascular resistance in hypertensive patients. However, further randomized control trials need to be performed to confirm the present findings.


Essential hypertension (HTN) is one of the most common public health problems and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a modifiable and an independent risk factor for stroke, cardiac disease, and chronic kidney disease [1],[2] HTN is responsible for 57% deaths due to stroke and 24% deaths due to coronary artery disease.[3]

Evidence suggests the growing trends in HTN prevalence worldwide. In China, the prevalence of HTN is reported to be 27%.[4] A survey conducted in 2003 in the US, Europe, and Canada reported 28% (lowest) prevalence of HTN in the US countries and 44% (highest) in the European countries.[1] In India, highest prevalence of HTN in urban population is men 44% and women 45% found in Mumbai (survey report reported in years 1999) and lowest 14% in Chennai (survey report reported in years 2000).[5]

Cause of HTN is believed to be the complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factor includes urban lifestyle characterized by sedentary job, psychological stress, junk food consisting of high-calorie, salt and less fiber food.[2]

These causes contribute to autonomic imbalance, characterized by reduced vagal tone and increased sympathetic activity. As the lifestyle is a major cause of HTN and lifestyle modification, intervention plays a major role in management and cure of HTN.

Yoga is a holistic science, discovered and developed by ancient Indian sages around 5000 years back. It is a tradition of lifestyle, health, and spirituality.[6] Yoga consists of several mind-body practices including physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Several scientific investigations have demonstrated the health benefiting effects of yoga practice in healthy and diseased conditions. …

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