Care of People with Cardiovascular Disorders| Volume 49, ISSUE 4, P353-363, July 2020

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Effects of Tai Chi exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factors and quality of life in adults with essential hypertension: A meta-analysis


      • Tai Chi lowers blood pressure and increases the quality of life in adults with essential hypertension.
      • Tai Chi lowers total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and blood glucose.
      • Tai Chi has no significant effect on high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol.
      • There is strong evidence for the short-term efficacy of Tai Chi exercises.



      Hypertension is the major attributable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The effect of Tai Chi on essential hypertension (EH) is contentious.


      In this study, we investigated the effects of Tai Chi on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and quality of life in adults with EH.


      Using data collected from 15 databases up to December 2018, we meta-analyzed randomized controlled trials of the effect of Tai Chi on EH.


      Tai Chi exercise was associated with lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) (WMD −12.47, 95%CI −16.00 to −8.94, P < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (WMD −6.46, 95%CI −8.28 to −4.64, P < 0.001); better quality of life (SMD 0.62, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.90, P < 0.001); lower lipid profiles, including total cholesterol (WMD −0.49, 95% CI −0.62 to −0.37, P < 0.001), triglycerides (WMD −0.49, 95% CI −0.92 to −0.07, P = 0.02), and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (WMD −0.86, 95% CI −1.30 to −0.43, P < 0.001); and lower blood glucose (WMD −0.91, 95% CI −1.59 to −0.23, P = 0.009). Tai Chi had no significant effect on high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol (WMD −0.92, 95% CI −2.21 to −0.37, P = 0.16).


      Tai Chi lowers blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, and blood glucose and significantly increases the quality of life in adults with EH. There is strong evidence for the short-term efficacy of Tai Chi exercises. Larger well-designed RCTs focused on the long-term effect of Tai Chi exercises and patient adherence are needed.


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