Effects of slow breathing training on hemodynamic changes, cardiac autonomic function and neuroendocrine response in people with high blood pressure: A randomized control trial

Author: Kornanong Yuenyongchaiwat1, Khaimuk Changsri2, Somrudee Harnmanop3, Phuwarin Namdaeng3, Mayuree Aiemthaisong3, Karan Pongpanit3, Thanawat Pariyatkaraphan4
1 Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumtani, Thailand; Thammasat University Research Unit for Physical Therapy in Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand. Electronic address: ykornano@tu.ac.th.
2 Medical Technology Department, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumtani, Thailand.
3 Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumtani, Thailand.
4 Physical Therapy Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Conference/Journal: J Bodyw Mov Ther
Date published: 2024 Jan 1
Other: Volume ID: 37 , Pages: 136-141 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.11.042. , Word Count: 289

High blood pressure (BP) is a non-communicable disease that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. High BP can be managed by both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Non-pharmacological treatment, such as slow-breathing training (SBT), has been shown to reduce BP. However, there are few studies on the effect of SBT on both cardiac activation and oxidative stress in people with high BP.

To explore the effect of SBT on cardiac autonomic function (i.e., heart rate variability: HRV) and neuroendocrine response (i.e., salivary cortisol).

One hundred people (including 89 women) with high BP were randomly assigned to either a control (n = 50) or intervention group (n = 50). The intervention program was conducted for 30 min per day, for 5 days per week, for 4 weeks, with a total of 20 sessions of the SBT at the rate of 10 times per minute, whereas the control group was required to continue with their daily routine. HRV, BP, and salivary cortisol were measured before and after the intervention program. A two-way mixed ANOVA was performed for within-group and between-group comparisons over time.

Of the 100 participants, 71 individuals completed the study. The participants in the intervention group had a lower BP and salivary cortisol levels compared to those in the control group (p < .05). Further, those participants showed an increase in the standard deviation of normal R-R intervals after the 4-week intervention program (p < .05).

This study provided evidence demonstrating the effect of SBT on cardiac autonomic and stress reactivity, which has important implications for health promotion in people with high BP.

Clinical trial registration number:

Keywords: Cardiac autonomic function; Heart rate variability; Neuroendocrine response; Salivary cortisol; Slow breathing training.

PMID: 38432795 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.11.042