Clinical Trial: Yoga for Reduction of Blood Pressure in People Living with HIV

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Cade WT, Reeds DN, Mondy KE, et al. Yoga lifestyle intervention reduces blood pressure in HIV-infected adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors. HIV Med. 2010 Jul 1;11(6):379-88. Epub 2010 Jan 5.
PubMed PMID: 20059570; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2889007.
[Free full text via PubMed Central.]

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, with grant support from the US National Institutes of Health, conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled study (NCT#00627380) to evaluate whether a yoga lifestyle intervention improves risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), virologic or immunologic status, or quality of life in HIV-infected adults more than in a matched control group. (Infection with HIV and treatment with combination antiretroviral therapy have been associated with bodily changes that increase CVD.)

In this study, 60 HIV-infected adults with mild-moderate CVD risk were assigned to 20 weeks of supervised Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice or standard-of-care treatment. The yoga sequence was designed for people with no previous yoga exposure. Beginning with feedback from the participants about their previous session, each session included:

  1. Alignment of muscle locks (bandhas) and controlled breathing (Ujjayi)
  2. Warm-up
  3. Sun Salute A x3, Salute B x1(Surya Namaskara))
  4. Standing Asanas
  5. Seated Asanas
  6. Lying Supine Asanas
  7. Cool-down (Restorative breathing techniques)

Findings from the study (e.g., reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures) suggested to the investigators that practicing yoga directly acts to lower blood pressure in people living with HIV and may lower their CVD risk.

Free full text is available via PubMed Central.

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