The effects of yoga among adults with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Prev Med. 2017 Dec;105:116-126. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.08.017. Epub 2017 Sep 4.


The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine the effects of yoga for glycemic control among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Comprehensive electronic databases searches located 2559 unique studies with relevant key terms. Studies were included if they (1) evaluated a yoga intervention to promote T2DM management, (2) used a comparison group, (3) reported an objective measure of glycemic control at post-intervention, and (4) had follow-up length or post-test of at least 8weeks from baseline. Independent raters coded participant, design and methodological characteristics and intervention content. Summary effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Twenty-three studies with 2473 participants (mean age=53years; 43% women) met eligibility criteria. Compared with controls, yoga participants were successful in improving their HbA1c (d+=0.36, 95% CI=0.16, 0.56; k=16), FBG (d+=0.58, 95% CI=0.40, 0.76; k=20), and PPBG (d+=0.40, 95% CI=0.23, 0.56; k=14). Yoga was also associated with significant improvements in lipid profile, blood pressure, body mass index, waist/hip ratio and cortisol levels. Overall, studies satisfied an average of 41% of the methodological quality (MQ) criteria; MQ score was not associated with any outcome (Ps >0.05). Yoga improved glycemic outcomes and other risk factors for complications in adults with T2DM relative to a control condition. Additional studies with longer follow-ups are needed to determine the long-term efficacy of yoga for adults with T2DM.

Keywords: Diabetes; Meta-analysis; Review; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Yoga*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids