Yoga as a treatment for vasovagal syncope: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2022 Aug;48:101579. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101579. Epub 2022 Apr 4.


Background: Yoga therapy is being used for vasovagal syncope (VVS). However, there is no sufficient evidence. We aimed to evaluate the effect of yoga as an adjunct to the standard therapy on patients with recurrent VVS.

Methods: Electronic databases were systematically searched to collect studies assessing the clinical effects of yoga along with guideline-directed treatment in patients with recurrent VVS. The outcomes were the number of VVS attacks and quality of life (QoL) assessment by Syncope Functional Status Questionnaire (SFSQ) scores at 12 months. We used the Mantel- Haenszel random-effects model to calculate the mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). We used The Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for risk of bias assessment.

Results: Four studies were included, two RCTs and two observational studies. The total of participants was 309, with a mean age of 36.4 ± 13.5 years. The male participants represented 141 (45.6%) being males. The baseline syncope burden was 3.5 ± 2.38 episodes over 15.6 ± 12.8 months. Yoga therapy significantly reduced the number of episodes of syncope and presyncope compared to the control group (MD -1.86; 95% CI -3.30, -0.43; P = 0.01). Nevertheless, yoga therapy did not show significant improvement in the QoL assessed by SFSQ scores (MD -30.69; 95% CI -62.22,0.83; P = 0.06).

Conclusion: Yoga therapy is a useful lifestyle intervention that can reduce the frequency of syncope and presyncope among patients with recurrent VVS. However, higher-quality RCTs are needed to confirm our results.

Keywords: Autonomic dysfunction; Meta-analysis; Syncope; Systematic review; Vasovagal; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Syncope
  • Syncope, Vasovagal* / therapy
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult