ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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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