Long-term effect of device-guided slow breathing on blood pressure regulation and chronic inflammation in patients with essential hypertension using a wearable ECG device

Chen Hsu Wang, Hui Wen Yang, Han Luen Huang, Cheng Yi Hsiao, Bun Kai Jiu, Chen Lin, Men Tzung Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Hypertension is related to autonomic nervous system(ANS) dysfunction, atherosclerosis and chronic inflammation. The stimulation of baroreflex regulation by slow-breathing exercise may improve the interplay among these systems. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of device-guided slow breathing on ANS, cardiovascular system and chronic inflammation in hypertensive patients. Methods: We prospectively collected 36 essential hypertension patients who were requested to practice slowbreathing exercise 5 times per day for 3 months. The breathing exercise was guided by a cellphone app with a wearable electrocardiography device and a rhythm of 6 cycles per minute. Cardiovascular indicators including heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure, pulse wave velocity and baroreflex indexes were sampled 3 times: at the first visit, and 1 month and 3 months after the intervention. The levels of blood inflammatory biomarkers, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and C-reactive protein were also collected at all 3 visits. The longitudinal differences in these variables and their correlationswere tested. Results: There was a significant decrease in blood pressure after 1 month of exercise. A significantly continuous decrease in TNF-α was also observed. The baroreflex indexes were significantly increased in the acute intervention of slow-breathing but not in the longitudinal effect. The HRV variables did not show differences with time. There were positive correlations between sympathetic index and TNF--α and galectin-3. Conclusions: The effect of slow-breathing exercise on blood pressure and chronic inflammation was significant. HRV indexes may also be used to assess chronic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalActa Cardiologica Sinica
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autonomic function
  • Baroreflex
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Hypertension
  • Slow breathing

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