Winter 2008: Of Note
It’s a Stretch
Yoga has long been lauded for its unique ability to strengthen the body while clearing the mind. Now yoga therapy appears to be safe for chronic heart failure patients and may improve quality of life, exercise tolerance, and inflammation associated with adverse cardiovascular events, according to Bobby Khan, assistant professor of medicine. Khan presented his findings in November at the American Heart Association’s 2007 Scientific Sessions conference in Orlando.
Khan and his colleagues measured the effects of an eight-week yoga intervention to determine whether it would improve symptoms of heart failure as reflected by tolerance of exercise, quality of life, and markers of inflammation associated with heart failure.
It is well known that increasing physical activity improves exercise tolerance in patients with heart failure. In Khan’s study of heart failure patients with appropriate medical therapy, he observed that an eight-week regimen of yoga improved patients’ capacity to exercise and their overall quality of life.
It also may be that yoga has an impact on the progression of heart failure.
“Our results were very positive,” says Khan. “All of the patients completed the yoga therapy with no complications.”