A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Effects of Yoga With an Active Control on Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Individuals With Prehypertension and Stage 1 Hypertension

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of yoga with an active control (nonaerobic exercise) in individuals with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension. A randomized clinical trial was performed using two arms: (1) yoga and (2) active control. Primary outcomes were 24-hour day and night ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Within-group and between-group analyses were performed using paired t tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance (time × group), respectively. Eighty-four participants enrolled, with 68 participants completing the trial. Within-group analyses found 24-hour diastolic, night diastolic, and mean arterial pressure all significantly reduced in the yoga group (−3.93, −4.7, −4.23 mm Hg, respectively) but no significant within-group changes in the active control group. Direct comparisons of the yoga intervention with the control group found a single blood pressure variable (diastolic night) to be significantly different (P=.038). This study has demonstrated that a yoga intervention can lower blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension. Although this study was not adequately powered to show between-group differences, the size of the yoga-induced blood pressure reduction appears to justify performing a definitive trial of this intervention to test whether it can provide meaningful therapeutic value for the management of hypertension.

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