Tai Chi May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Women
September 20, 2015 -
A team from Virginia Commonwealth
University performed a study to examine the effects of tai chi on bio-behavioral factors associated
with cardiovascular disease risk in women.
This was a randomized trial with a wait-list
control group, using pretest-posttest design. Data were collected immediately
before, immediately after, and 2 months following the intervention.
The study was community based in central
Virginia. Women aged 35 to 50 years at increased risk for cardiovascular disease
were included. The 8-week intervention built on prior work and was designed to
impact bio-behavioral factors associated with cardiovascular disease risk in
Biological measures included fasting
glucose, insulin, and lipids as well as C-reactive protein and cytokines.
Behavioral measures included fatigue, perceived stress, depressive symptoms,
social support, mindfulness, self-compassion, and spiritual thoughts and
The results: in 63 women, Tai Chi was shown
to decrease fatigue and granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Consistent with
the study model and intervention design, significant changes observed 2 months
post intervention indicated that Tai Chi may help down-regulate pro-inflammatory
cytokines associated with underlying cardiovascular disease risk, including
interferon gamma and tumor necrosis factor.
Tai Chi may also increase mindfulness,
spiritual thoughts and behaviors, and self-compassion.
Conclusion: this study contributes important
insights into the potential benefits and mechanisms of Tai Chi. With further
research, it may ultimately lead to effective strategies for reducing
cardiovascular disease risk in women earlier in the cardiovascular disease
Their findings are published by
American journal of health promotion
in August, 2015.