Nonpharmacologic treatment of hypertension by respiratory exercise in the home setting

Am J Hypertens. 2004 Apr;17(4):370-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjhyper.2003.12.009.


Background: Device-guided breathing exercises at home have a potential to become a nonpharmacologic treatment of high blood pressure (BP). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of device-guided breathing exercises on both office and home BP.

Methods: A total of 79 mild hypertensive individuals, either medicated or unmedicated, with BP > 140/90 mm Hg were enrolled. After a 2-week run-in phase, in both the control and treatment groups daily home blood pressure was monitored for 8 weeks. The treatment group also engaged in 15-min daily sessions with device-guided breathing exercises.

Results: A total of 47 treatment patients and 26 control subjects completed the study. In the control group both office and home BP showed small nonsignificant reductions. Device-guided breathing exercises reduced mean office BP (systolic/diastolic) by 5.5/3.6 mm Hg (P < .05 for diastolic) and mean home BP by 5.4/3.2 mm Hg (P < .001 for both). Home BP response reached a plateau after 3 weeks.

Conclusion: Our data show that device-guided breathing exercises have an antihypertensive effect that can be seen in conditions closer to daily life than the setting of the physician's office.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Diastole / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Office Visits
  • Patient Compliance
  • Respiration
  • Self Care*
  • Systole / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome