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Mental stress and cardiovascular diseases are becoming more common in the developing countries. One simpler, inexpensive method of overcoming this stress and the consequent cardiovascular complications is the practice of YOGA. Aim was to analyze the effect of yoga on cardiovascular and mental status in subjects above the age of 30 years, with respect to body mass index (BMI) and gender. This comparative study was done in 50 subjects, aged more than 30years, which included 28 male and 22 female, and 27 with BMI < 25 and 23 with BMI ? 25. The cardiovascular status was assessed by recording the blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer and heart rate was calculated from Lead II of electrocardio-gram. The mental status was evaluated with general health questionnaire 28 (GHQ-28). All the parameters were recorded before and once again after 6 months of regular yogic prac-tice. The mean decrease in the resting heart rate, diastolic blood pressure and GHQ-28 score, after 6 months of regular yoga practice, was more in females and in the group with BMI ? 25, whereas the mean decrease in the systolic blood pressure was equal in both gen-ders and more in the group with BMI ? 25. It can be concluded that yoga practice can be used as an intervention in ageing persons to reduce the morbidity and mortality from car-diovascular diseases, irrespective of age, gender and more so in subjects with BMI ? 25.
Yoga, cardiovascular diseases, mental status, gender, body mass index