Objective: To evaluate the effect of tai chi exercise on cardiac and static lung function for older community-dwelling adults at risk of ischemic stroke.
Methods: A total of 170 older community-dwelling adults (aged 55-75 years old) at risk of ischemic stroke were allocated to either tai chi training group (85 cases, five 60-min sessions of tai chi training per week for 12 weeks) or control group (85 cases, usual pbysical activity for 12 weeks) using a computer-generated randomization. The echocardiographic parameters of cardiac structure, cardiac function and static lung function were measured at baseline, after 12 weeks of intervention and additional 12-week follow-up period by a blinded professional staffmember using a color Doppler ultrasound imaging device or a cardiopulmonary function instrument. The t test and linear mixed model based on the intentionto-treat analysis principle was used to calculate the effect. The adverse effect was observed.
Results: Most of echocardiographic parameters on the cardiac structure, cardiac function and static lung function between the tai chi group and control group did not have a significant difference either post 12-week intervention or additional 12-week follow-up period. Only three parameters involving in right ventricular diameter (P=0.024), main pulmonary artery diameter (P=0.002) and vital capacity maximum (P=0.036) were beneficial to be improved in the tai chi group compared to the control group by the analysis of mixed linear model. No adverse effects were found during the intervention period.
Conclusion: The 12-week tai chi exercise did not have an obvious beneficial effect on cardiac structure, cardiac function and static lung function in older community-dwelling adults at risk of ischemic stroke. The study with a longer duration of intervention should be necessary. (Trial registration No. ChiCTR-TRC-13003601).
Keywords: cardiac structure and function; ischemic stroke; randomized controlled trial; static lung function; tai chi.