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Am J Hypertens. 2004 Apr;17(4):370-4.

Nonpharmacologic treatment of hypertension by respiratory exercise in the home setting.

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Clinica Medica, Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica, Prevenzione e Biotecnologie Sanitarie, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, S. Gerardo Hospital Monza, Italy.



Device-guided breathing exercises at home have a potential to become a nonpharmacologic treatment of high blood pressure (BP). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of device-guided breathing exercises on both office and home BP.


A total of 79 mild hypertensive individuals, either medicated or unmedicated, with BP > 140/90 mm Hg were enrolled. After a 2-week run-in phase, in both the control and treatment groups daily home blood pressure was monitored for 8 weeks. The treatment group also engaged in 15-min daily sessions with device-guided breathing exercises.


A total of 47 treatment patients and 26 control subjects completed the study. In the control group both office and home BP showed small nonsignificant reductions. Device-guided breathing exercises reduced mean office BP (systolic/diastolic) by 5.5/3.6 mm Hg (P < .05 for diastolic) and mean home BP by 5.4/3.2 mm Hg (P < .001 for both). Home BP response reached a plateau after 3 weeks.


Our data show that device-guided breathing exercises have an antihypertensive effect that can be seen in conditions closer to daily life than the setting of the physician's office.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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