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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 14:14 EDT

Exercise OK for Some Heart Patients

November 12, 2008

A study found exercise is not too risky for some heart failure patients, U.S. researchers said.

“The most important thing we found from this study is that exercise is safe for patients with heart failure, and when adjustments were made for specific baseline characteristics, it significantly improved clinical outcomes,” Dr. Christopher O’Connor and Dr. David Whellan of Thomas Jefferson University said in a statement.

Working out on a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill just 25 to 30 minutes most days of the week is enough to modestly lower risk of hospitalization or death for patients with heart failure, the researchers said.

The study involved 2,331 patients at 82 study sites throughout the United States, Canada and France. Patients were randomized into a group that received usual care or to a group that received usual care plus an exercise training program that began under supervision but then transitioned to home-based, self-monitored workouts.

The study found exercise led to a significant 11 percent reduction in risk of hospitalization or death for those in the exercise group.

The findings were reported at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in New Orleans.