Yoga Reduces Blood Pressure in Pre-Hypertensive Patients: Study

Six months of yoga lifestyle "significantly reduces" blood pressure in pre-hypertensive patients, a new study by doctors at a city hospital has claimed.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Hypertension, was conducted by researchers from the Department of Neurophysiology of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH).

"It was a randomised study of 120 patients to study the effect of yoga lifestyle on ambulatory blood pressure in patients with high normal blood pressure (pre-hypertension)," the hospital said in a statement.

The Study

The patients were divided into two groups- Group A (yoga), who were assigned to practice yoga – an intensive lifestyle modification; while patients in the Group B (conventional) were prescribed the conventional lifestyle modifications (exercise, diet, smoking cessation), it said.

"Twenty-four hour diastolic BP particularly the night diastolic and mean arterial pressures showed a significant decrease from the baseline in the yoga group compared to the conventional group, whose members underwent lifestyle modifications at 12 weeks. " - Nandini Agarwal, study author

"This study has convincingly demonstrated that yoga intervention in patients with pre-hypertension can significantly reduce blood pressure," Agarwal claimed.

M Gourie Devi, Chairperson, Department of Neurophysiology at the SGRH, said,

"Hypertension is a major public health problem throughout the world with over one in five adults affected worldwide and this is likely to increase to 29.2 per cent by 2025."

Pre-hypertension is a precursor of clinical hypertension and is closely related with the increased incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, Devi said.

Sandeep Joshi, co-author of the study, said, "Patients with pre-hypertension (120-139/ 80-89 mmHg) have an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality compared with patients who have normal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mmHg)".

The yogic practices that were followed in the study were health rejuvenating exercises, asanas, breathing and relaxation exercises and meditation, the hospital said.

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