Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of a unique healthy and happy lifestyle (HLS) program in regression of coronary atherosclerosis and reduction in cardiac events in an open trial.
Methods: One hundred and twenty three angiographically documented moderate to severe coronary artery disease (CAD) patients were administered HLS comprising of low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian diet, moderate aerobic exercise and stress-management through Rajyoga meditation. Its most salient feature was training in self-responsibility (heal+thy) and self-empowerment through inner-self consciousness (swasth; swa=innerself, sth=consciousness) approach using Rajyoga meditation. Following a seven day in-house sojourn, patients were invited for six month follow-up for reassessment and advanced training. At the end of two years, all patients were asked to undergo repeat angiography.
Results: Three hundred and sixty coronary lesions were analysed by two independent angiographers. In CAD patients with most adherence, percent diameter stenosis regressed by 18.23 +/- 12.04 absolute percentage points. 91% patients showed a trend towards regression and 51.4% lesions regressed by more than 10 absolute percentage points. The cardiac events in coronary artery disease patients were: 11 in most adherence, and 38 in least adherence over a follow-up period of 6.48 yrs. (risk ratio; most vs least adherence: 4.32; 95% CI: 1.69-11.705; P < 0.002).
Conclusion: Overall healthy changes in cardiovascular, metabolic and psychological parameters, decline in absolute percent diameter coronary stenosis and cardiac events in patients of CAD were closely related to HLS adherence. However, more than 50% adherence is essential to achieve a significant change.