Qigong, an Effective Therapy for High Blood Pressure
January 16, 2015 -
Several researchers from Harvard Medical
School, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and McMaster University of
Canada teamed up to perform a comprehensive review to evaluate the efficacy and
safety of Qigong for high blood pressure.
A systematic literature search was performed
in 7 databases from their respective inceptions until April 2014, including the
Cochrane Library, EMBASE, PubMed, Chinese Scientific Journal Database, Chinese
Biomedical Literature Database, Wanfang database, and Chinese National Knowledge
Infrastructure. Randomized controlled trials of Qigong as either monotherapy or adjunctive
therapy with antihypertensive drugs versus no intervention, exercise, or
antihypertensive drugs for high blood pressure were identified.
Twenty trials containing 2349 hypertensive patients were included
in the meta-analysis. The risk of bias was generally high. Compared with no
intervention, Qigong significantly
reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Qigong was inferior to exercise in decreasing
SBP, but no significant difference between the effects of Qigong and exercise on DBP was identified.
Compared with antihypertensive drugs, Qigong produced a clinically meaningful but
not statistically significant reduction in SBP, but appeared to be more
effective in lowering DBP. Qigong plus
antihypertensive drugs significantly lowered both SBP and DBP compared with
antihypertensive drugs alone. No serious adverse events were reported.
The meta-analysis suggests that Qigong is an effective therapy for high blood
pressure. However, more rigorously designed randomized controlled trials with
long-term follow-up focusing on hard clinical outcomes are required to confirm
Their findings are published by the journal
Medicine (Baltimore) in its first
issue of 2015.