ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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