Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Exercise as Good as Drugs at Preventing Repeat Heart Attack, Study Finds

Exercise is as effective as drugs at preventing diabetes and repeat heart attacks, and it is potentially better than medication for averting additional strokes, according to an analysis published Tuesday.
Though the benefits of exercise are well documented, there have been few trials that directly pit exercise against medication, a "blind spot" in research, according to Huseyin Naci, one of the study authors and a fellow in pharmaceutical-policy research at Harvard Medical School.
The relatively small number of exercise trials compared with drug trials is due to a combination of factors, including better funding from drug companies and the complexity of carrying out exercise studies, according to Dr. Mead.
Exercise has also been shown to be helpful in the short term in a number of other conditions, including depression, cognition, blood pressure and cancer treatment. Dr. Naci and his colleagues plan to study some of these other diseases in future work.
He cautioned that patients with existing health conditions should talk to their doctor before stopping medication or engaging in exercise programs.

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