Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors, which is associated with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle interventions applied to people with MetS has considerable beneficial effects on disease preventive outcomes. This study aimed to examine the effects of 1-year of yoga exercise on the cardiovascular risk factors including central obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia in middle-aged and older Hong Kong Chinese adults with MetS.
Methods: Adults diagnosed with MetS using National Cholesterol Education Program criteria (n = 182; mean ± SD age = 56 ± 9.1) were randomly assigned to a 1-year yoga intervention group or control group. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were examined at baseline, midway, and on completion of the study. Physical activity level and caloric intake were assessed and included in the covariate analyses.
Results: A reduction of the number of diagnostic components for MetS was found to be associated with the yoga intervention. Waist circumference was significantly improved after the 1-year yoga intervention. A trend towards a decrease in systolic blood pressure was observed following yoga intervention.
Conclusion: These results suggest that yoga exercise improves the cardiovascular risk factors including central obesity and blood pressure in middle-aged and older adults with MetS. These findings support the complementary beneficial role of yoga in managing MetS.
Keywords: Body-mind exercise; Central obesity; Diabetes mellitus; Hypertension.