Yoga Has Potential To Improve Cardiovascular Risk Factors Interview with:
Paula Chu Doctoral candidate
Harvard University’s Health Policy Program
Boston MA

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study was borne out of a mutual interest in the effects of yoga and wellness in general between myself and my coauthors.

​We had heard and read about yoga’s effects on certain conditions like anxiety and pain, and we wanted to see if there was scientific evidence on yoga’s impact on measurable physiological cardiovascular ​outcomes.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Yoga has potential to help improve certain ​cardiovascular risk factors like body weight, blood pressure, and lipid levels.  Yoga could be an option for those who are looking for an alternative method of exercise to improve cardiovascular health​.

​Patients can discuss with their doctors whether yoga (and which style, frequency, etc) is right for them​.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Additional trials and research can help uncover the mechanism and reasons why yoga can modify cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. We are also looking into the cost implications of yoga as a therapeutic option for cardiovascular disease.


Chu P, Gotink RA, Yeh G, Goldie S, Hunink MGM. The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: A systematic reviewand meta-analysis of randomizedcontrolled trials. Eur J Prev Cardiol [Internet]. 2014.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD