Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of yoga on atrial fibrillation (AF) burden, quality of life (QoL), depression, and anxiety scores.
Background: Yoga is known to have significant benefit on cardiovascular health. The effect of yoga in reducing AF burden is unknown.
Methods: This single-center, pre-post study enrolled patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AF with an initial 3-month noninterventional observation period followed by twice-weekly 60-min yoga training for next 3 months. AF episodes during the control and study periods as well as SF-36, Zung self-rated anxiety, and Zung self-rated depression scores at baseline, before, and after the study phase were assessed.
Results: Yoga training reduced symptomatic AF episodes (3.8 ± 3 vs. 2.1 ± 2.6, p < 0.001), symptomatic non-AF episodes (2.9 ± 3.4 vs. 1.4 ± 2.0; p < 0.001), asymptomatic AF episodes (0.12 ± 0.44 vs. 0.04 ± 0.20; p < 0.001), and depression and anxiety (p < 0.001), and improved the QoL parameters of physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health domains on SF-36 (p = 0.017, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.019, and p < 0.001, respectively). There was significant decrease in heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure before and after yoga (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: In patients with paroxysmal AF, yoga improves symptoms, arrhythmia burden, heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and depression scores, and several domains of QoL.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00798356.
Copyright © 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.