A yoga-based rehabilitation program for patients with heart attacks is as safe and beneficial as conventional heart recovery therapy, according to a new study.
The results of the five-year study were presented at the American Heart Association scientific meeting in Chicago on Saturday. Funded by the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) and Medical Research Council (UK).
The study compared the efficacy of Yoga- CaRe based on Yoga with Enhanced Standard Care (ESC) in patients with heart attack on clinical outcomes such as death, recurrent heart attacks, strokes, said Dr. Ambuj Roy, Professor of Cardiology at AIIMS.
The study found that Yoga-CaRe has the potential to be an alternative to conventional cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs and to meet the unmet CR needs for patients in India and other countries.
The study was conducted in 24 centers in India and covered approximately 4,000 patients immediately after discharge after a heart attack.
Patients were randomized to undergo a structured Yoga-CaRe program that includes meditation, breathing exercises and selected hearts-friendly yoga poses besides lifestyle tips. The control team received routine advice on how to live.
The study showed that Yoga-CaRe is safe, feasible and significantly improves quality of life and returns to daily activities similar to those before the heart attack, said Dr. Roy.
Among the patients who attended at least 10 or more planned 13 yoga exercises, the Yoga-CaRe program was effective to improve clinical outcomes by reducing death and reducing hospitalizations, indicating a possible dose-response relationship.
Professor Prabhakaran, Ph.D. Vice President of the Public Health Institute of India (PHFI) and principal investigator of the study, reported that the prevalence of ischemic heart disease in India has increased by more than 50%, and in absolute numbers increased from 10 million from 1990 to 24 million 2016.
"The Yoga-CaRe test, the biggest test for Yoga as well as cardiac rehabilitation, has shown that yoga is an alternative to conventional CR programs and addresses unmet needs for cardiac rehabilitation for low and middle-level patients is safe, relatively inexpensive, requires no complex infrastructure, is culturally acceptable and improves the quality of life, "Prabhakar said.
Professor Sanjay Kinra, Head of Epidemiology, Department of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, a joint study researcher, said improvements in heart care meant that most people are now surviving a heart attack, so focus has shifted to improving quality life survivors of heart attacks so they can be better adjusted after such a catastrophic event.
This is particularly true in India, where heart attacks tend to appear at a very young age. While we expect formal peer review, the preliminary test results suggest that a yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation program can improve the quality of life and promote earlier routine activities, "he said.
Traditional cultural practices are often treated with suspicion by the prevailing medical community. This great yoga test conducted with the highest scientific standards highlights the potential of traditional practices to play a complementary role in providing health care, especially given the high cost of chronic disease management, Kinara said.
"This landmark study shows that the use of yoga as a CR tool is effective in improving the quality of life and reducing cardiovascular events among those who have completed at least 75 percent of the sessions.
"Yoga has gained enormous popularity at national and international level as a tool for health promotion, especially since the UN declared 21 June as an International Yoga Day, but modern medicine requires evidence of benefits for interventions for its wider acceptance. the study is a step in that direction. "I hope this study will boost several such trials in other diseases where yoga can be potentially beneficial," he said.
Yoga-CaRe is a fusion of yoga and lifestyle practices that are influenced both by yoga philosophies and by modern scientific evidence through a systematic process.
The program is designed to be accepted by people of all religions / sects and is safe for patients.
The authors reported that the preliminary results of the study found significant changes in quality of life and return to physiological activities following a heart attack in patients who underwent a Yoga-CaRe program. However, there were no changes in tobacco cessation and compliance with medication.
(Information from organizations.)