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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2004 Oct;6(10):553-9; quiz 560-1.

Graded blood pressure reduction in hypertensive outpatients associated with use of a device to assist with slow breathing.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, RUSH Medical College of RUSH University, RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


To study the effects of device-guided breathing on office systolic blood pressure (SBP), five centers randomized 149 untrained hypertensives (50% male, age 59+/-10 years, baseline blood pressure 150+/-9/86+/-9 mm Hg, 77% taking drug therapy). One half received a device to guide slow breathing; all received a home blood pressure monitor and only simple, written instructions. The changes in office SBP (adjusted for office-to-home difference in baseline SBP and accumulated time spent in slow breathing, guided and measured by the device) were significantly (p<0.001 for trend) correlated with accumulated time spent in slow breathing. Greater decreases in SBP (-15.0+/-1.8 vs. -7.3+/-1.9 mm Hg) were observed for those who spent more (vs. less) than 180 minutes over 8 weeks in slow breathing, as well as those who just monitored their blood pressure at home (-9.2+/-1.6 mm Hg). Thus, even without training, hypertensive patients who receive a device to guide slow breathing significantly lowered their office SBP if the total time spent in slow breathing over 8 weeks exceeded a "threshold" value of 180 minutes.

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