Objective: We sought to prospectively evaluate the impact of a 10 minute seated yoga program added to standard comprehensive diabetes care on glucose control and cardiovascular health in the severely ill, medically complex diabetic population.
Method: A total of 10 patients with type 2 diabetes, ages 49-77, with duration of diabetes >10 years and haemoglobin A1C >9% (75 mmol/mol) were included in the study. Patients randomized to a yoga intervention were taught a 10 minute seated yoga practice, were given an explanatory DVD and a fold-out pocket guide to encourage adherence at home, and were instructed to incorporate the practice as often as they could. The patients in the control arm were provided information and hand outs on the available yoga classes on campus.
Results: At 3 month clinical follow up, the mean decrease in fasting capillary blood glucose (CBG) was 45% among yoga participants (-5.2 ± 4.1 mmol/L). Heart rate (HR) dropped by 18% and Diastolic blood pressure (BP) dropped by 29% in the intervention arm, (-12.4 ± 6.69 and -26 ± 12.05 mmHg, respectively). There were no statistically significant changes in the haemoglobin A1C, systolic blood pressure, weight, or body mass index in either group.
Conclusion: Our small pilot study reinforces the current medical evidence supporting the use of yoga, combined with standard care, to improve health outcomes in diabetes.
Keywords: Cardiovascular health; Diabetes; Glycaemic control; Heart rate; Hypertension; Stress reduction; Yoga.