- Yoga has robust effects on exercise capacity and pulmonary function, according to 11 randomized controlled trials.
- Safety results were poorly reported.
Why this matters
- Yoga appears to be an effective adjunct intervention for COPD, but safety data are lacking.
- Meta-analysis of 11 randomized trials (n=586) identified from Medline/PubMed, Scopus, and the Cochrane central registry.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Yoga (vs no treatment) is associated with:
- Improved QoL on the COPD Assessment Test (mean difference [MD], 3.81; P=.009; I2=70%).
- Improved exercise capacity on the 6-minute walk test (MD, 23.53 m; P<.001 i>2=0%).
- Improved pulmonary function via predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) based on height, weight, and race (MD, 3.95%; P<.001 i>2=0%).
- No change in absolute FEV1 (MD, −0.16 L; P=.60; I2=92%).
- Benefits were observed with breathing-focused yoga (vs no treatment), but not with yoga postures. Breathing-based yoga was associated with:
- improved dyspnea (standardized MD, −0.43; P=.03; I2=0%),
- improved exercise capacity on the 6-minute walk test (MD, 22.74 m; P=.003; I2=0%), and
- FEV1 (MD, 3.97%; P<.001 i>2=0%).
- Safety was inconclusive because of inadequate reporting.
- Small number of patients.
- High heterogeneity in 2 of 4 outcomes.