Abstract ID: 3980

Primary Topic: Mind-body (including meditation and yoga)
Secondary Topic: Whole systems and acupuncture (including TCM and Ayurveda)
Tertiary Topic: State of the science/evidence base for integrative modalities

Effects of Tai Chi on Stress and Cardiovascular Function in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease and/or Hypertension: a randomised controlled trial

Late Breaker: Yes


To investigate the effects of Tai Chi on stress and cardiovascular function in patients with coronary heart disease and/or hypertension.

Methods/Session Format

In this randomised controlled trial, 120 participants with coronary heart disease and/or hypertension were randomly assigned to a Tai Chi or waitlist groups (each n=60). The participants in the treatment group received a standardised 24-week program consisting of 2-hour Tai Chi class twice weekly for the first 12 weeks and once weekly for the rest of the program. The primary measure is Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10). The secondary measures include Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability, lipid and glucose profiles, C-reactive protein, 36-Item Short Form Healthy Survey and 6-Minute Walk Test. All measures were assessed at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks. 


Of 120 randomised participants (mean age, 64.3 years), 102 (85.0%) completed the trial. Using a linear mixed model, the Tai Chi group demonstrated a significant reduction in PSS-10 scores at week 24 (Mean, 10.44; 95% confidence interval (CI), 8.86 to 12.03) compared with the waitlist group (Mean, 11.71; 95% CI, 10.01 to 13.34) (P=0.009). The mean walking distance during 6-minute walk increased from 494.77 meters at baseline to 552.81 meters at 24 weeks in the Tai Chi group, while from 518.83 to 519.63 meters in the waitlist group. The difference between the two groups is statistically significant (P<0.001). Significant differences were also detected between the two groups in depression, diastolic blood pressure, and quality of life. No adverse events related to Tai Chi were reported.


A 24-week standardised Tai Chi intervention resulted in modest but statistically significant improvements in stress, fitness, depression, diastolic pressure and quality of life, in patients with coronary heart disease and/or hypertension compared with those in the waitlist control group.