Public Release: 

Namaste, yogis: Yoga as effective as traditional pulmonary rehab in patients with COPD

American College of Chest Physicians

MONTRÉAL (October 19, 2015)-Researchers from the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, studied the effects of yoga as a form of pulmonary rehabilitation on markers of inflammation in the body. Results from this study showed yoga exercises provide improvements that are just as effective as traditional pulmonary rehabilitation methods in improving pulmonary function, exercise capacity, and indices of systemic inflammation.

Sixty patients with COPD were randomly divided into two groups, one of which was taught yoga exercises while the other underwent a structured pulmonary rehabilitation program. These groups were tested on shortness of breath, serum inflammation, and lung function tests. Each group participated in 1 hour of training twice a week for the first 4 weeks, then training every 2 weeks for 8 weeks, and the remaining weeks were at home. Results showed that yoga and pulmonary rehabilitation exercises resulted in similar improvements in pulmonary function, 6-minute walk distance, Borg scale, severity of dyspnea, quality of life, and levels of C-reactive protein after 12 weeks of training.

"This study suggests yoga may be a cost-effective form of rehabilitation that is more convenient for patients," said Mark J. Rosen, MD, Master FCCP, CHEST Medical Director. "The authors recommended adoption of yoga programs as an option as part of long-term management of COPD. These findings should be confirmed in new studies and the potential mechanisms explored."

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Further results will be shared during CHEST 2015 on Monday, October 26, 2015, at 8:30 AM at Palais des congrès de Montréal, room 513ef. The study abstract can be viewed on the CHEST website.

CHEST Annual Meeting 2015 is the 81st annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 24-28, 2015, in Montréal, Canada. The American College of Chest Physicians, publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 18,700 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST 2015, visit http://chestmeeting.chestnet.org, or follow the CHEST meeting hashtag, #CHEST2015, on social media.

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