The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Benefits of yoga for lowering blood pressure in cardiac-rehab pateints

    Just don’t call it yoga!

    Klinik Roderbirken der Deutschen Rentenversicherung, in Germany reported their findings during the EuroPREVENT 2010 meeting.

    First, the details.

    • 340 male cardiac-rehabilitation patients with high blood pressure following their initial heart attack or percutaneous coronary intervention (coronary angioplasty) were randomly assigned to a “relaxation” group for 5 sessions per week lasting 30- to 60-minutes for 3 weeks.
      • Relaxation #1: Standard intensive cardiac-rehab program that included PMR (progressive muscle relaxation; a technique based on alternate tensing and relaxing of muscles)
      • Relaxation #2: Viniyoga (most of the patients didn’t realize they were doing yoga)
    • Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help heart patients recover quickly and improve overall physical and mental functioning.
    • After 3 weeks, men were encouraged to continue their programs at home and told that a questionnaire would be sent to them after 6 months.

    And, the results.

    • At 3 weeks, systolic blood-pressure in men in the Relaxation #2 (yoga group) declined by 8 mmHg vs 6 mmHg in the Relaxation #1 group.
    • Among men with the highest systolic blood pressures (greater than 140 mmHg), declines in the yoga group were significantly more pronounced: 21 mmHg vs 13 mmHg in the Relaxation #1 group.
    • Most of the patients were on multidrug antihypertensive regimens.
    • By 6 months, 50% of Relaxation #1 patients continued therapy at least once per week vs 30% of the Relaxation #2 (yoga group).

    The bottom line?

    The author’s concluded, it’s too soon to make yoga an integral part of cardiac-rehab. However, ongoing studies in patients with higher blood pressure might change this.

    They were impressed that 30% of the patients (mostly “low educated” males) continued with yoga for 6 months.

    5/13/10 17:08 JR

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