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J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2018 Nov 27. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000372. [Epub ahead of print]

Role of Yoga in Cardiac Disease and Rehabilitation.

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1
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. Yoga, a combination of physical postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana), has gained increasing recognition as a form of mind-body exercise. In this narrative review, we intended to review the emerging evidence assessing the physiologic and clinical effects of yoga on the cardiovascular system and the potential role of yoga as a component of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation.

METHODS:

We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase, and Cochrane databases for literature related to cardiovascular effects of yoga from inception up until 2017.

RESULTS:

Yoga has been shown to have favorable effects on systemic inflammation, stress, the cardiac autonomic nervous system, and traditional and emerging cardiovascular risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Yoga has shown promise as a useful lifestyle intervention that can be incorporated into cardiovascular disease management algorithms. Although many investigators have reported the clinical benefits of yoga in reducing cardiovascular events, morbidity, and mortality, evidence supporting these conclusions is somewhat limited, thereby emphasizing the need for large, well-designed randomized trials that minimize bias and methodological drawbacks.

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