Graded blood pressure reduction in hypertensive outpatients associated with use of a device to assist with slow breathing

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2004 Oct;6(10):553-9; quiz 560-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-6175.2004.03553.x.


To study the effects of device-guided breathing on office systolic blood pressure (SBP), five centers randomized 149 untrained hypertensives (50% male, age 59+/-10 years, baseline blood pressure 150+/-9/86+/-9 mm Hg, 77% taking drug therapy). One half received a device to guide slow breathing; all received a home blood pressure monitor and only simple, written instructions. The changes in office SBP (adjusted for office-to-home difference in baseline SBP and accumulated time spent in slow breathing, guided and measured by the device) were significantly (p<0.001 for trend) correlated with accumulated time spent in slow breathing. Greater decreases in SBP (-15.0+/-1.8 vs. -7.3+/-1.9 mm Hg) were observed for those who spent more (vs. less) than 180 minutes over 8 weeks in slow breathing, as well as those who just monitored their blood pressure at home (-9.2+/-1.6 mm Hg). Thus, even without training, hypertensive patients who receive a device to guide slow breathing significantly lowered their office SBP if the total time spent in slow breathing over 8 weeks exceeded a "threshold" value of 180 minutes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Illinois
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spirometry / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome