STUDY: Exercise may be as effective as drugs in treatment of heart disease

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 7:08pm

     Researchers from several universities compared the effectiveness of exercise to the drugs people use for heart disease, stroke and heart failure.

     And the results may shock some. It found that in almost all cases, exercise was just as effective in preventing death as medications.

     "The addition of exercise in patients who already have coronary heart disease or stroke actually makes people live longer." said Dr. Oscar Paniagua.

      Dr. Oscar Paniagua works at the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Hospital.

     He says it is smarter to exercise in addition to taking medication instead of replacing the medicine with exercise.

     "It's not clear that there's a substitution for medicines," Dr. Paniagua said. "But they've been comparing that exercise may be as effective as medicines in making people live longer."

     Dr. Paniagua says one reason to make it an addition instead of a replacement is because, for many, if the choice is between popping pills and hitting the gym, many patients will opt for the less active option.

   "In our country it's common for people to take pills or go the easy way," Dr. Paniagua said. "And taking pills is the easy way."

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