January 3, 2006
Walking slows decline with leg artery disease
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Walking at least 3 times per
week seems to significantly slow the functional decline seen in
people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that
involves hardening of the blood vessels in the legs and
elsewhere, according to a new report.
Previous reports have linked exercise rehabilitation
programs with improved treadmill performance in PAD patients,
but the benefits of a regular walking program were unclear.
Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues compared the
functional outcomes of 143 PAD patients who walked for exercise
at least 3 times per week with those of 274 patients who walked
lesser amounts. The subjects were followed for a median
duration of 36 months.
Walking at least 3 times per week was associated with a
significantly smaller annual decline in the distance walked in
6 minutes compared with lesser amounts of walking.
"Our data suggest that patients with PAD who are unable or
unwilling to participate in supervised walking exercise
programs may benefit from self-directed walking at home," the
authors conclude in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine January 3, 2006.