Study Finds: Exercise Better Than Drugs In Treating Certain Illnesses

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Study Finds:  Exercise Better Than Drugs In Treating Certain Illnesses


The investigations discovered physicians had a much better possibility of preventing death in patients recuperating from stroke or a cardiovascular disease by prescribing moderate fitness.

It is the first time scientists have compared the benefits of exercise with heart drugs. 

Analyzing data on 340,000 patients who’d been diagnosed with chronic heart failure, heart disease, a stroke or diabetes, the findings published in the British Medical Journal have been touted as radical.

Scientists analysed previous studies and found no noticeable change involving the results and drugs for persons who have cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

The study leader Huseyin Naci, of Harvard Medical School and LSE Health, said more people are consuming prescription drugs than are exercising.

Drugs: The study showed stroke sufferers could be better off working out than taking prescription medications.

In 2010, about 17.7 prescriptions per individual were issued, up from 11.2 in 2000.

Mr Naci, who directed the study with researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, said: ‘Exercise should be considered as a viable alternative alongside, drug therapy.’

More than 200 trials looked particularly at medication therapy for the conditions, including blood-thinning drugs, to estimate how efficient they prevent critical illness.

Exercise And Drugs: Additional Studies


Further studies, involving 14,716 people, specifically examined exercise as a type of treatment.

Scientists concluded exercise could just as readily regulate glucose levels in heart disease patients to avoid the onset of diabetes.

But for anyone suffering from heart failure, diuretic drugs were found to be more efficient than exercise.

While the results were most outstanding for stroke sufferers – showing exercise is a lot more effective than drugs in preventing death – Mr Naci warned the results could have been distorted by the inclusion of stroke victims who were in top physical condition.

He said additional trials were needed, but stated: ‘We can say the overall trend suggests that exercise is better than no exercise and it could improve the impact of drugs.’

Mr. Naci stated “We are not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications,” he said. “But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles and talk to their doctors” regarding whether working out should be included into their care.

Exercise And Drugs – Bottom Line

All agree that Working out often:

Can lower your own risk of serious illnesses, like diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Can reduce your own risk of experiencing and early death
Can foster a feeling of self-worth, make you feel better, and prevent weight gain

Any patient with these cardiovascular conditions who are considering taking up exercise should consult with their doctor first and should continue taking their drugs, Mr Naci advocated.


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