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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 649836, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/649836
Research Article

Effectiveness of Yoga for Hypertension: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, One University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 10021, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, West Virginia University School of Public Health, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA
3Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0782, USA
4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0782, USA

Received 16 November 2012; Revised 25 April 2013; Accepted 25 April 2013

Academic Editor: Myeong Soo Lee

Copyright © 2013 Marshall Hagins et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. To systematically review and meta-analyze the effectiveness of yoga for reducing blood pressure in adults with hypertension and to assess the modifying influences of type and length of yoga intervention and type of comparison group. Methods. Academic Search Premier, AltHealthWatch, BIOSIS/Biological Abstracts, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Natural Standard, and Web of Science databases were screened for controlled studies from 1966 to March 2013. Two authors independently assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Results. All 17 studies included in the review had unclear or high risk of bias. Yoga had a modest but significant effect on systolic blood pressure (SBP) ( 4.17 [ 6.35, 1.99], ) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ( 3.62 [ 4.92, 1.60], ). Subgroup analyses demonstrated significant reductions in blood pressure for (1) interventions incorporating 3 basic elements of yoga practice (postures, meditation, and breathing) (SBP: 8.17 mmHg [ 12.45, 3.89]; DBP: 6.14 mmHg [ 9.39, 2.89]) but not for more limited yoga interventions; (2) yoga compared to no treatment (SBP: 7.96 mmHg [ 10.65, 5.27]) but not for exercise. Conclusion. Yoga can be preliminarily recommended as an effective intervention for reducing blood pressure. Additional rigorous controlled trials are warranted to further investigate the potential benefits of yoga.