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.
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