Moderate sport for heart patients

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Cardiac patients should be aware of modest sports for the prevention of new heart complaints
Numerous studies have already dealt with the topic of sports for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The experts agree: exercise is healthy. The extent to which sport is most conducive to the health of cardiac patients has recently been investigated by Drs. Ute Mons and Prof. Hermann Brenner from Dkfz.

According to the clinical societies, 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise five to seven days a week are recommended for cardiac patients. However, this information is based on the results of clinical trials conducted in rehab sports programs, which were subject to specific conditions. Thus, the patients were cared for in their physical activity, which was usually limited to a few months. The German researchers wanted to check whether the recommendations of their US colleagues also existed under everyday conditions."We first wanted to see if there was indeed a linear relationship between the frequency of physical activity and the prognosis," explains Mons."In addition, so far it has mostly been disregarded how far the patients over the years adhere to the prevention recommendations."

For their study, they evaluated over a period of ten years, the data of more than a thousand heart patients undergoing rehabilitationsubjected. The study participants had to answer questions about their physical activity and their state of health at intervals of several years. In addition, the scientists registered all new heart attacks and strokes.

Too much sport can provoke new heart attack
As it turned out, the rarest health complications occurred in cardiac patients, who according to their own statements, completed a moderate training two to four times a week. Among the study participants, who did not move at all or not at all, deaths from cardiovascular diseases occurred four times more frequently. The risk of complications also increased among patients who exercised daily. For example, twice as many severe cardiovascular events were registered in this group.

Another study outcome relates to the endurance of cardiac patients. It turned out that most participants did not maintain their level of movement over the years and with increasing age. The proportion of cardiac patients who were physically active daily or at least five to six times a week decreased steadily. By contrast, the proportion of study participants who barely ever practiced sports increased.

"Perhaps our analysis overestimates the risk of patients from the most physically inactive group," Brenner admits."Because who is sick and weak anyway, does not do sports. That physical activity in moderation, as far as it is possible, is healthy, is beyond question. However, our results also suggest that there is an upper limit beyond which more sport brings no health benefit. The clinical recommendations for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases should take this into account accordingly. "

Lowering high blood pressure with sports in moderation
Hypertension is one of the Germans' national ill and is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Moderate physical activity can help reduce blood pressure. Prof. Jürgen Scholze from the German Hypertension League( DHL) pointed out to the news agency "dpa" in the run-up to the World Hypertension Day on May 17 that already three to four hours faster walking per week can significantly contribute to the regulation of hypertension. But "weight loss is the biggest factor," said Scholze, who found that new cases could be reduced by 50 percent if people with high blood pressure dropped four kilograms in two years and then kept the weight offIn addition, the diet should be dispensed with high-salt foods such as ready meals, because too much salt favors high blood pressure to stroke

Cardiac Patients May Promote Heart Attack and Stroke with Too much Sports


Cardiac patients are often advised by physicians to do sports to prevent a recurrent heart attack or stroke. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center( Dkfz) recently examined how much exercise works well in the case of heart problems and when sports harms health. Their conclusion: Sports in moderation, two to four times a week, reduces the risk of recurrence of cardiovascular diseases most effectively. On the other hand, too much sport can even be harmful.

Image: Sparkie /

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