Yoga participation and all-cause mortality: National prospective cohort study

Complement Ther Med. 2015 Dec;23(6):757-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.08.004. Epub 2015 Aug 18.


Background: The relatively few studies examining the effect of yoga participation on chronic disease come from small, short-term studies. As a result, the purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the effects of yoga participation on all-cause mortality in a large nationally representative study with a relatively long follow-up period (up to 12 year follow-up).

Methods: Data from the 1999-2006 National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey were used, with follow-up through 2011. Yoga participation was self-reported, with participant identification linked to death certificate data from the National Death Index to ascertain mortality status.

Results: In the analyzed sample, which included 22,598 adult participants, 240 participants engaged in yoga and 3176 died over the follow-up period; the median follow-up period was 102 months (8.5 years). In an unadjusted Cox hazard model, those engaging in yoga, compared to those not engaging in yoga, had a 63% reduced risk of premature all-cause mortality (HR=0.37; 95% CI: 0.18-0.74; P=.006). However, after adjusting for age, the association was attenuated and no longer statistically significant (HR(adjusted)=0.82; 95% CI: 0.39-1.72; P=.60).

Conclusion: In conclusion, yoga participation was not significantly associated with reduced all-cause mortality risk in an adjusted model.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Mortality; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult