Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2013 Dec;179(1-2):131-7.
doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2013.08.065. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Effects of Guided Breathing on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Variability in Hypertensive Diabetic Patients

Randomized Controlled Trial

Effects of Guided Breathing on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Variability in Hypertensive Diabetic Patients

Kinga Howorka et al. Auton Neurosci. .


Objective: Our aim was to investigate medium-term effects of device-guided breathing on blood pressure (BP) and its capacity to improve the cardiovascular autonomic balance in hypertensive diabetic patients. This feasibility study was conceived as a proof-of-concept trial under real life conditions for justification of further investigations.

Methods: A randomized, controlled study (RCT) of the effects of device-guided slow breathing on top of usual care against usual care alone (including non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment). The intervention included 12-min sessions of guided breathing performed daily for 8 weeks. Treatment effects were assessed with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (24h ABPM) and with spectral analysis of short-term heart rate variability (HRV) obtained during standardized modified orthostatic load. Thirty-two subjects with diabetes and antihypertensive therapy were randomly assigned to both study groups.

Results: After 8 weeks of guided breathing, significant reductions were demonstrated in 24 h systolic BP (x±SEM: 126.1±3.0 vs 123.2±2.7 mmHg, p=0.01), and in 24 h pulse pressure (PP, 53.6±2.6 vs. 51.3±2.5 mmHg, p=0.01), whereas no significant impact in the control group was shown. The differences in treatment effects (delta mmHg, RESPeRATE® vs control) were significant only for PP (-2.3±0.8 vs +0.2±1.2 mmHg, p<0.05). Strong baseline dependence of treatment effects (delta systolic BP) was observed (p<0.01). Guided breathing showed a stronger treatment effect in terms of an increase in HRV, predominantly in low frequency band (p<0.03 vs. usual care).

Conclusion: Even in well controlled hypertensive diabetic patients, guided breathing induced relevant effects on BP and HRV, finding which should be investigated further.

Keywords: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Device guided breathing; Diabetes; Heart rate variability; Hypertension; RESPeRATE®; Randomized controlled study; Spectral analysis.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 9 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources