Tai Chi Beneficial to Heart-Failure Patients with Preserved Ejection Fraction
October 28, 2012 -
This is a study jointly conducted by several prestigious medical organizations
in Boston area, including Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
and Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System.
Although exercise is
an important component of heart failure management, optimal regimens,
particularly in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), are
uncertain. Tai chi is a mind-body exercise that may have potential benefits but
has not been studied in this population.
randomized 16 patients with HFPEF to either 12-weeks Tai Chi or aerobic
exercise. Assessments included peak oxygen uptake, 6-minute walk, quality of
life, echocardiography, mood, and self-efficacy at baseline and at 12 weeks.
Cardio-respiratory measures during exercise were obtained to characterize
was excellent (89% attendance). Change in peak oxygen uptake was similar between
groups after 12 weeks, but 6-minute walk distance increased more after Tai Chi.
While both groups had improved Minnesota Living With Heart Failure scores and
self-efficacy, Profile of Mood States (POMS)-Depression scores improved more
with Tai Chi. Cardio-respiratory assessment during Tai Chi showed lower oxygen
uptake, respiratory rate, and heart rate.
The group of
researchers concluded that Tai Chi is feasible and safe in HFPEF. Therepeutic
endpoints appear similar with Tai Chi relative to aerobic exercise despite a
lower aerobic training workload.
The study is
published on Oct 12, 2012 by the journal Congestive Heart Failure. .