In a nutshell
This study evaluated if yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation leads to reduced heart-related risk factors in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to standard care. The data showed that the addition of yoga to standard care showed overall improvements in the cardiac health and quality of life of these patients.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which the blood vessels in the heart become blocked. This can lead to heart attacks, stroke, or death. An important aspect of CAD treatment is cardiac rehabilitation. The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to slow or reverse the damaging effects of CAD. This includes a program of counseling, dietary changes, smoking cessation, and regular exercise.
It is known that aerobic exercise programs help the recovery of patients with heart disease. Aerobic exercise programs consist of physical exercises that promote the circulation of oxygen through the blood with an increased rate of breathing. Yoga is a form of physical activity that involves simple meditation and the creation of many-body postures. It is known to reduce stress by controlling breathing and promoting relaxation. Yoga has been suggested to show improvements in cardiovascular health which would support its use in cardiac rehabilitation programs. However, it is unknown if yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation leads to reduced heart-related risk factors, and improves physiological and psychological outcomes in patients with CAD compared to standard care.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed 6 other studies evaluating adding yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation to conventional rehabilitation programs in patients with CAD.
Overall, the addition of yoga to standard care showed improvement in the cardiac health and quality of life of the patients. Yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation also resulted in improvement in left ventricular systolic function (blood pressure when the heart beats).
Yoga-based rehabilitation showed similar benefits in reducing heart risk factors, reducing heart attacks, stroke, or death, and improving psychological health as standard or enhanced care. However, the benefits of yoga-based rehabilitation were greater with longer follow-up compared to standard care.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the addition of yoga to standard care showed overall improvements in the cardiac health and quality of life of patients with CAD.
The fine print
The sample size was very small and the follow-up time was too short in most of the studies. Future studies with longer follow-up and larger patient numbers are required to evaluate the long-term benefit of yoga-based rehabilitation.
Published By :
Vascular health and risk management
Dec 10, 2021
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