Tags: yoga | atrial fibrillation | study

Yoga and Atrial Fibrillation Study: Patients Saw Lower Blood Pressure, Heart Rate

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By    |   Tuesday, 15 Mar 2016 09:30 AM

Yoga could help people with atrial fibrillation achieve a better quality of life by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular.

Atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart pumps blood at an irregular and often abnormally fast rate, can disrupt the flow of blood in its chambers and increase the risk of blood clots and possibly strokes, according to Medical News Today.

Maria Wahlström, lead author of the study from the Sophiahemmet University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, suggested that yoga's deep breathing exercises may help atrial fibrillation patients, the website said.

Wahlström said that the breathing could balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leading to less heart rate variation.

"Many patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation can't live their lives as they want to — they refuse dinners with friends, concerts, and travelling — because they are afraid of an AF episode occurring," Wahlström said, according to a European Society of Cardiology statement.

"AF episodes are accompanied by chest pain, dyspnoea and dizziness. These symptoms are unpleasant and patients feel anxious, worried and stressed that an AF episode will occur. Most patients are still working and take sick leave to visit the hospital. Many patients with AF use complementary therapies so it is necessary to find out if they actually help," she continued.

The European Society of Cardiology statement said that paroxysmal AF patients experienced episodes of atrial fibrillation lasting less than 48 hours, although some could extend for seven days. After a 12-week period with a yoga test group, AF patients had higher mental health scores, lower heart rates, and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than the control group.

"We found that patients who did yoga had a better quality of life, lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure than patients who did not do yoga," Wahlström said, per the European Society of Cardiology statement.

"If could be that the deep breathing balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leading to less variation in heart rate. The breathing and movement may have beneficial effects on blood pressure."

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Yoga could help people with atrial fibrillation achieve a better quality of life by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular.
yoga, atrial fibrillation, study
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2016-30-15
Tuesday, 15 Mar 2016 09:30 AM
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