Physical activity after an infarction reduces the risk of death

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Increasing physical activity after a heart attack reduces the risk of death by 50%, warns a study published by the European Society of Cardiology.

These new studies show that individuals who became more physically active 12 months after a cardiac event reduced their risk of death by half, regardless of their smoking status or the severity of their infarction.

The study followed, over a period of four years, 22,227 Swedish patients who had a myocardial infarction between 2005 and 2013. Among them, 1,087 died at the end of the work.

Levels of physical activity were reported in six to ten weeks and at four levels of intensity: inactive, reduced, increased, or constantly active. The training time was 30 minutes or longer, according to the study.

The study shows significant benefits for individuals who exercise in a reduced way: their risk of mortality is 37% lower compared to people who did not exercise at all. This figure rises to 51% for patients who have had an increased activity. In “constantly active” individuals, the risk of death was reduced by 69%.

According to Dr. Örjan Ekblom, author of the study, physical activity should be part of health recommendations for these patients regardless of their gender and smoking status: “Exercise should be automatically recommended twice or more a week to patients who have had an infarction in the same way as smoking cessation, a healthy diet and stress reduction.”

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The study, which collected patient information via questionnaires, does not say what type of activity the participants preferred. The authors of the study intend to continue their work to determine the most advantageous exercises to increase life expectancy after a heart attack.

This work was presented this Thursday, April 19 at the EuroPrevent 2018, the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology to be held until April 21, in Ljubljana in Slovenia.

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Carl Frantz

Polyglot, humanitarian, Carl was born in Germany but raised in the USA. He writes mostly on tech, science and culture.