Chronic Heart Failure Patients Benefit From Tai Chi

Patients with chronic heart failure seem to have a better quality of life and mood if they regularly practice Tai Chi, researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center revealed in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

As background information, the researchers wrote:

“Historically, patients with chronic systolic heart failure were considered too frail to exercise and, through the late 1980s, avoidance of physical activity was a standard recommendation. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditative exercise may have benefits for patients with chronic systolic heart failure; this has not been rigorously tested in a large clinical sample.”

Gloria Y. Yeh, M.D., M.P.H., and team monitored and evaluated 100 patients with systolic heart failure who were recruited into the study between May 2005 and September 2008. Half of them were randomly selected to take part in a 12-week Tai-Chi exercise intervention group, while the other half were in a time-matched education group.

The Tai Chi group had two one-hour classes per week, while the education classes were also twice weekly and led by a nurse practitioner. The two groups were fairly similar in heart disease severity, rate of comorbities and demographics.

At the end of the 12 weeks those in the Tai Chi group had significantly more improved quality of life compared to the education group, even though their change in six-minute walk distance and peak oxygen uptake were similar.

extract from Chronic Heart Failure Patients Benefit From Tai Chi.

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