Framingham Risk Score and Estimated 10-Year Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction by a Short-Term Yoga-Based Life-Style Intervention.
J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Feb 16. Epub 2017 Feb 16. PMID: 28437144
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a short-term yoga-based life-style intervention program in lowering Framingham Risk Score (FRS) and estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk.
METHODS: This was a single-arm, pre-post interventional study including data from a historical cohort with low to moderate risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). It was conducted in a tertiary-care hospital. Participants with low (0 or 1 CVD risk factors) to moderately high risk (10-year risk between 10% and 20% and two or more CVD risk factors) were included. Participants with previously diagnosed CVD, defined as a history of myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or cerebrovascular accident, were excluded from the analysis. However, those with controlled hypertension were included. Intervention included a pretested short-term yoga-based life-style intervention, which included asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, relaxation techniques, stress management, group support, nutrition awareness program, and individualized advice. The intervention was for 10 days, spread over 2 weeks. However, participants were encouraged to include it in their day-to-day life. Outcomes included changes in FRS, and estimated 10-year CVD risk from baseline to week 2. A gender-based subgroup analysis was also done, and correlation between changes in FRS and cardiovascular risk factors was evaluated.
RESULTS: Data for 554 subjects were screened, and 386 subjects (252 females) were included in the analysis. There was a significant reduction in FRS (p < 0.001) and estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk (p < 0.001) following the short-term yoga-based intervention. There was a strong positive correlation between reduction in FRS and serum total cholesterol (r = 0.60; p < 0.001). There was a moderate positive correlation between reduction in FRS and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = 0.58; p < 0.001), and a weak but positive correlation between reduction in FRS and triglycerides (r = 0.26; p ≤ 0.001), serum very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = 0.29; p < 0.001), and systolic blood pressure (r = 0.20; p ≤ 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This yoga-based life-style intervention program significantly reduced the CVD risk, as shown by lowered FRS and estimated 10-year CVD risk. Further testing of this promising intervention is warranted in the long term.