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The Effect of Tai Chi for Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar for Patients with Chronic Diseases
February 28, 2013 -
Tai chi emphasizes gentle, balanced, slow, deep-breathing activity and is widely applied in healthcare and health promotion in elderly populations. Researchers have applied tai chi as an intervention to reduce hypertension, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia with unclear results. This article conducts a systematic review of tai chi intervention research with regard to its effectiveness in addressing three risk factors.

Purpose: This study conducted a systematic review of reports discussing the blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipid effects of tai chi in chronic diseases clients.

Method: Researchers searched six electronic databases for relevant articles published between 1990 and May 2011. Data were collected using inclusion and exclusion criteria. A modified Jadad Scale was used to evaluate the quality of the identified articles.

Results: Seven studies met our inclusion criteria of targeting middle-aged subjects with chronic diseases. There was a total of 947 participants, with studies ranging from 38-207 participants. The majority of participants were women (six studies with a female ratio of > 50%); participant ages ranged from 51 +- 9.8 to 81.2 +- 6.1; four studies reported that tai chi reduced blood pressure and blood lipid levels; three studies reported that tai chi did not improve blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, or HbA1C.

Conclusion: Systematic review results indicate that tai chi interventions have a significant and positive effect on blood pressure and lipid levels but not for blood sugar levels. Larger scale studies with more subjects and longer time periods are necessary to further confirm and illuminate the effects of tai chi and guide the design of effective, empirical-based intervention programs. This study is performed by National Taiwan University.




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