Researchers from Boston reviewed studies of tai chi exercise in patients with cardiovascular disease or its risk factors.

First, the details.

  • 29 studies were included in the review — 9 were of high quality.
    • 3 in coronary heart disease
    • 5 in heart failure
    • 10 in mixed populations that included cardiovascular disease
    • 11 in people with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, impaired blood sugar metabolism).
  • Studies ranged from 8 weeks to 3 years, and each included fewer than 100 people.

And, the results.

  • Most studies reported improvements with tai chi, including blood pressure reductions and increases in exercise capacity.
  • No adverse effects were reported.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Preliminary evidence suggests that tai chi exercise may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for some patients with cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

“Further research is needed.”

5/28/09 19:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.