Exercise Helps Heart Patients
Now there’s yet another group that benefits from exercise: people with chronic heart failure. Properly supervised exercise programs improve the survival of this population, according to new research in the January 24, 2004, issue of the British Medical Journal.
Researchers analyzed nine trials involving 801 patients with heart failure. Of these patients, 395 received exercise training for at least 8 weeks, and 406 received usual care. All patients were monitored for at least 3 months. Overall there were 88 deaths (22 percent) in the exercise group and 105 deaths (26 percent) in the control group. Researchers said that deaths and admission to hospital were significantly lower in the exercise group.
The researchers also discovered that even when the amount of time spent exercising as part of a program is small, supervised and encouraged exercise is likely to lead to a generally more active lifestyle. That means that the effective “dose" of exercise may in fact be considerably greater than the amount of exercise directly recommended.
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