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Olle Melander

Principal investigator

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Five-week yin yoga-based interventions decreased plasma adrenomedullin and increased psychological health in stressed adults : A randomized controlled trial

Author

  • Daiva Daukantaitė
  • Una Tellhed
  • Rachel E Maddux
  • Thomas Svensson
  • Olle Melander

Summary, in English

BACKGROUND: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs, e.g. cardiovascular disease) are responsible for high rates of morbidity and the majority of premature deaths worldwide. It is necessary to develop preventative interventions that can reduce the associated risk factors of NCDs. Researchers have found that the biomarker adrenomedullin (ADM) becomes elevated years before the onset of NCDs and might play an important role in their development. ADM has also been linked to psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression, which are known risk factors of NCDs. In this randomized controlled trial, we examined whether participating in a five-week yoga intervention reduces ADM and increases psychological health in middle-aged adults who self-report as moderately to highly stressed, but who otherwise exhibit no physical complaints.

METHODS: One hundred and five adults (78% women; mean age = 53.5, SD = 6.7) were randomly assigned to (1) a five-week Yin yoga intervention, (2) a five-week intervention combining Yin yoga with psychoeducation and mindfulness practice (called the YOMI program), or (3) a control group who did not practice yoga or mindfulness for five weeks.

RESULTS: Compared to the control group, we observed significantly greater pre-post reductions in plasma ADM levels (p < .001), anxiety (p ≤ .002), and sleep problems (p ≤ .003) in both intervention groups. Furthermore, the YOMI group exclusively showed significantly greater pre-post reductions in stress (p = .012) and depression (p = .021) compared to the control group. Significant correlations (p < .05) were found between pre-post reductions in ADM and anxiety symptoms (p = .02) and depression (p = .04) in the entire sample.

CONCLUSION: The five-week Yin yoga-based interventions appeared to reduce both the physiological and psychological risk factors known to be associated with NCDs. The study suggests that incorporating Yin yoga could be an easy and low-cost method of limiting the negative health effects associated with high stress.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03428542.

Department/s

  • Department of Psychology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year

2018-07-18

Language

English

Publication/Series

PLoS ONE

Volume

13

Issue

7

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Topic

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Psychology

Status

Published

Project

  • The effects of yoga on psychological and physiological health

Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1932-6203