|Exercise and Chronic Heart failure
|Study shows exercise helps patients with chronic heart failure
A study by German researchers indicated that daily exercise improved the health of patients
with stable chronic heart failure by improving work capacity.
Researchers at the University of Leipzig said patients who exercised regularly for six months
showed significant improvement in the volume of blood pumped by their hearts.
The daily exercise, which began with frequent intense exercise of 10 minutes 4 to 6 times
per day and later reduced to 20 minutes per day on an exercise bicycle, eased the passage of
blood through hardened arteries and blood vessels.
The 31 patients on the exercise program also had a lower resting heart rate than a control
group who remained sedentary.
The study was published in June 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Chronic heart failure afflicts 4.6 million Americans, according to the American Heart
Association, and half of those affected die within five years.
The failing heart becomes too weak to supply blood adequately to the body, and symptoms
include shortness of breath, weight gain and swelling of the legs.
Many heart patients find it difficult to exercise because of their weakened state, but this
study shows that it may be beneficial for patients with stable chronic heart failure to
exercise under supervised conditions.