ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Treat symptoms (result of disease) or diagnose systems (cause of disease)?
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Add your Article

Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack

By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Any exercise program can improve blood flow after a heart attack, but the benefit vanishes just four weeks after exercise is stopped, a new Swiss study finds.

"The main goal of our study was to determine the impact of different types of exercise on vascular [blood vessel] function," said Dr. Margherita Vona, director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at the Clinique Valmont-Genolier in Glion sur Montreux. "The conclusion was that in our patients, after a heart attack, all types of exercise were useful for correcting vascular dysfunction, without any difference among aerobic, resistance or combined training."

But the improvement in blood flow seen in the 209 heart attack survivors enrolled in the program was lost four weeks after they stopped exercising, according to the report in the March 31 issue of Circulation.

"These data imply that good, long-term adherence to training programs is necessary to maintain vascular benefits on endothelial dysfunction," Vona said.

The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels. Its failure to perform efficiently increases the risk of a blood clot that can block an artery, causing a heart attack.

Participants in the trial were randomly assigned to aerobic training, resistance training, a combination of aerobic and resistance training, or no training at all.

Those who did aerobic training had four weekly sessions, including a 10-minute warm-up, 40 minutes of cycling that increased the heart rate to 75 percent of maximum and a 10-minute cool-down. Resistance training had four weekly sessions of 10 exercises with weights and rubber bands, lasting 45 seconds to one minute, with recovery intervals of 15 to 30 seconds.

Endothelial function was measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), the amount that blood vessels widen to increase blood flow. FMD more than doubled, from 4 percent to 10 percent, in both exercise groups. There was no significant change in FMD in the non-exercising participants.

However, the increase in FMD was lost a month after the regular exercise program ended.

"This aspect is particularly important in patients with coronary artery disease, in whom correction of endothelial dysfunction could help to slow the progression of atherosclerosis and probably avoid new cardiovascular events," Vona said.

None of the exercises caused problems for the participants, she added.

The resistance training program followed American Heart Association guidelines, Vona said. "Following the guidelines of the American Heart Association, all people can do resistance training," she said. "Many papers show beneficial effects of resistance training on cardiac and muscle function, in normal people and also, for example, in diabetic subjects."

The study does add some insight to the well-worn subject of exercise and the heart, said Dr. Johnny Lee, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

One is about the type of exercise that should be done, Lee said. "Most of the time, we tell patients about aerobic exercises -- running, jogging and swimming," he said. "We haven't thought that resistance exercise, lifting weights and the like, can have an equal benefit. This shows that it does. That there was benefit from aerobic exercise was no surprise. What was a surprise was that resistance exercise gave equal benefit."

Second, the loss of benefit after exercising stopped that was seen in the study participants, who by definition are in the highest cardiac risk group because they have had heart attacks, carries a message for lower-risk people, Lee said.

"If this applies to the sickest patients, that if you stop you are going to lose the benefit, it shows that continuing to exercise can only have a positive effect if you are a normal subject with no heart disease," Lee said.

More information

A guide to exercise after a heart attack is offered by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Margherita Vona, M.D., director, Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, Clinique Valmont-Genolier, Glion sur Montreux, Switzerland; Johnny Lee, M.D., assistant clinical professor, medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; March 31, 2009, Circulation

Last Updated: March 16, 2009

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