Yoga Effects on Blood Pressure and Quality of Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Dr. Moa Wolff
Center for Primary Health Care Research
Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Lund University
Jan Waldenströms gata 35, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö 205 02, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Wolff: We investigated the effects of two yoga interventions on blood pressure and quality of life in patients in primary health care diagnosed with hypertension. Our study showed that a short yoga program practiced daily at home had an antihypertensive effect, as well as a positive effect on self-rated quality of life compared to controls.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Wolff: We were surprised that it was the simpler and shorter yoga program intervention that had the best effect on blood pressure and quality of life. The other yoga intervention, where the patients in addition to a more extensive yoga program at home also met once a week to practice yoga with an instructor, didn’t show any effect on blood pressure and quality of life.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Wolff: A short yoga program for patients to practice at home seems to have an antihypertensive effect, as well as a positive effect on self-rated quality of life. This implies that simple yoga exercises may be useful as a supplementary BP therapy in addition to medical treatment when prescribed by primary care physicians.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Wolff: Larger, randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm the antihypertensive effect of yoga and to identify the groups of patients that will benefit most from yoga-based treatment. We also need to study the long-term effects of yogic treatment on hypertension.

Citation:

Impact of yoga on blood pressure and quality of life in patients with hypertension – a controlled trial in primary care, matched for systolic blood pressure

Wolff M, Sundquist K, Larsson Lönn S, Midlöv P.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-111