Is yoga effective in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?
No study reported cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality or non-fatal events, and most studies were small and short-term (<6 months’ duration). There was substantial heterogeneity between studies, making it impossible to combine studies statistically for systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol. There was a high degree of heterogeneity between trials, from different sources (participants, type of yoga, duration of intervention and follow-up, outcome data), which precluded statistical pooling for some outcomes.
Sedentary lifestyle and stress are major risk factors for CVD. Since yoga involves exercise, and is thought to help in stress reduction, it may be an effective strategy in the primary prevention of CVD.Small reductions in CVD risk factors throughout a whole population may lead to large reductions in CVD incidence.1