Heart disease :: Exercise reduces heart attacks in cardiac patients

Men with coronary heart disease who began a daily exercise regime instead of undergoing invasive surgery proved less likely to suffer heart attacks or other coronary events, according to a report released today by the American Heart Association.

They found that 88 percent of heart patients who used an exercise bike daily escaped having a heart attack, or other serious adverse events such as severe chest pain, over four years.

That compared to 70 percent of the men who got a stent — a little mesh tube used to prop open a blocked artery.

The participants were evenly matched for weight, cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking history and diabetes as well as other cardiovascular disease risk factors. Men with recent heart attacks were excluded as were those with a history of heart bypass surgery.

After one year, 88 per cent of those who exercised suffered neither a heart attack nor any other “adverse” event. The event-free rate among the men treated with stents was 70 per cent.

Patients who have heart disease need to be aware of lifestyle changes.

Exercise reduces one’s blood cholesterol, can help maintain a healthy weight, and lowers blood pressure.

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