NEW YORK, May 15 — Yoga can be a beneficial complementary therapy for heart failure patients, new research reports. According to the study, significant long-term improvements were noted in patients practicing yoga as a complement to their drug-based treatment.

A study presented at the Heart Failure 2024 scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) highlights the benefits of yoga for heart failure patients. Led by Dr. Ajit Singh of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the study highlights the positive role yoga can play in complementing medication.

Heart failure affects over 64 million people worldwide, and can seriously affect quality of life. Patients often experience fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty in carrying out their daily activities. While previous studies have shown that yoga can help heart-failure patients in the short term, this new research highlights its long-term benefits.

The study involved patients aged between 30 and 70, who had undergone recent cardiac surgery and were taking medication as recommended. Of the 85 participants, 40 were assigned to the yoga group and 45 to the control group. All continued to take their usual medication.

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Patients in the yoga group attended sessions led by experienced teachers, where they learned breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques. After a week of supervision, they were encouraged to practise yoga at home for 50 minutes once a week, with regular follow-up from an instructor.

Results were assessed at six months and one year, focusing on metrics including cardiac structure and function, blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, etc. Compared to the control group, the yoga group showed significant improvements in all these measurements, demonstrating a stronger heart and increased ability to carry out daily activities.

“Patients who practiced yoga on top of taking their medications felt better, were able to do more, and had stronger hearts than those who only took drugs for their heart failure,” said study author, Dr Ajit Singh, quoted in a news release. “The findings suggest that yoga can be a beneficial complementary therapy in patients with heart failure.” — ETX Studio

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