RESPeRATE: the role of paced breathing in hypertension treatment

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2015 Jan;9(1):38-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2014.10.002. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Despite a good adherence to lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive drugs, hypertension remains resistant in more than one-third of patients, thus creating the need for additional strategies, including non-pharmacologic approaches. Slow and deep breathing ("paced breathing") associated in the past with meditation has a direct antihypertensive effect by increasing baroreflex sensitivity. With the method of guiding the pace of breathing, a US Food and Drug Administration-certified device, RESPeRATE, may offer an easy, efficient, inexpensive, and noninvasive option for treating hypertension. Multiple studies showed a significant reduction of blood pressure when RESPeRATE was evaluated in a home and office setting. In conclusion, this review outlines the pathophysiologic background of paced respiration, describes RESPeRATE clinical trials, and presents briefly other guided breathing alternatives.

Keywords: Baroreflex sensitivity; blood pressure; hypertension treatment; paced breathing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Baroreflex / physiology
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / instrumentation
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods
  • Breathing Exercises / instrumentation
  • Breathing Exercises / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Meditation
  • Mind-Body Therapies / instrumentation*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Music Therapy
  • Relaxation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods
  • Respiration
  • Vibration