Yoga may have positive effect on anxiety, depression, and arrhythmia [Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat]. Source: Cardiology Today
“Emotional stress is very well correlated with AF. A lot of patients with AF complain of significant anxiety and depression, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, MD, director of the Center for Excellence in AF and EP Researcher at the University of Kansas, told Cardiology Today. “However, it is unclear whether anxiety and depression bring on the AF or if AF brings on the anxiety and depression.”
During a session here, Lakkireddy presented unpublished data from a study that measured quality of life, anxiety and depression in patients with AF. The study included 49 patients who participated in two 60-minute yoga sessions a week for 3 months. Researchers measured quality of life, anxiety and depression scores at baseline and again at the end of 3 months. Additionally, yoga reduced symptomatic AF episodes from 3.8 at baseline to 2.9 at 3 months. The number of asymptomatic AF episodes was also reduced after yoga practice, Lakkireddy said. Yoga was also associated with improved quality of life, anxiety and depression scores at the end of the study period. Correlation analysis showed that change in anxiety and depression correlated with the change in the number of AF episodes.
“There was a 35% to 40% reduction in the number of AF episodes in this study,” Lakkireddy said in an interview. “Yoga doesn’t completely cure AF, but in gross terms, the number of AF episodes was significantly lowered to reach statistical significance.”