Navigation Links
A Month of Exercise Helps Ease Heart Failure

Moderate regimen saw heart output, breathing improve, researchers say

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Just four weeks of moderate exercise is enough to boost the cardiac performance and breathing capacity of patients with heart failure, a new study finds.

This slightly more strenuous exercise program -- in standard use in Europe for people with heart failure -- works at least as well as the less intense American regimen, the researchers noted. They presented the findings Tuesday at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego.

In heart failure, the heart progressively loses the ability to pump blood. In the United States, doctors typically recommend three-times-a-week exercise sessions for eight to 12 weeks to help ease the condition, noted study author Stephen F. Crouse, a professor of kinesiology and internal medicine at Texas A&M University, in College Station.

His team looked at data from an Austrian rehabilitation center where 366 heart failure patients (average age 63) exercised 14 to 22 minutes on stationery bicycles six times a week. Participants also did a brisk 45-minute walk each day.

Four weeks of that regimen were enough to produce a significant increase in the participants' breathing capacity, Crouse said.

"This is something that we can recommend continuing for the rest of their lives," he added.

The benefits of exercise for people with heart failure are well-established, Crouse acknowledged. "There are some data from U.S. studies showing that the European regimen has at least equal benefits," he said.

The study used such standard measures of heart function as VO2max, which measures oxygen consumed; resting heart rate; and blood pressure. But of greater interest was the measurement of blood levels of the protein NT-proBNP, which is secreted when heart muscle cells are stressed, Crouse said.

"We have this biomarker in the blood that can be followed very well and that correlates with [cardiac] performance," he said.

Levels of NT-proBNP went down as standard measures of heart performance went up, Crouse said. Blood levels of the protein dropped by 33 percent in the study group after four weeks of the exercise regimen.

Measuring NT-proBNP "is something we would suggest could become a routine clinical test, of treatment and performance," Crouse said. A blood test for the protein is not expensive and is a better alternative for more costly tests such as echocardiography, he said.

The longer-term effects of a continued exercise program for heart failure will be assessed by the Texas A&M team, Crouse said. "We need data to follow them out," he said.

The results were not surprising and will not affect advice on exercise now given to people with heart failure, said Dr. William E. Kraus, research director at the Duke University Center for Living. His center is currently leading a major trial of long-term exercise training for people with heart failure, with results expected later this year.

Use of NT-proBNP as a measure of performance is "a new wrinkle, but not so much of one that it makes me want to change practice," Kraus added.

More information

Guidelines for exercise in heart failure are provided by the Cleveland Clinic.

SOURCES: Stephen F. Crouse, Ph.D., professor, kinesiology and internal medicine, Texas A&M, College Station; William E. Kraus, M.D., research director, Duke University Center for Living, Durham, N.C.; April 8, 2008, presentation, Experimental Biology conference, San Diego

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Donate Life America Dispels Myths About Organ & Tissue Donation Among Hispanics During National Hispanic Heritage Month
2. Us TOO Launches National SEA Blue Campaign for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
3. Eligard(R) six-month formulation successfully completes European approval procedure
4. Mega Events in September Allow Heart Health Campaign to Reach Tens of Thousands of Hispanics During Cholesterol Awareness Month
5. portionpals(R) Sales Reach a Whopping 250,000 Units in 3 Months!
6. September is Healthy Aging Month
7. Mega Events in September, Including Chicago Event This Sat./Sun., Allow Heart Health Campaign to Reach Tens of Thousands of Hispanics During Cholesterol Awareness Month
8. P.A.C.K. Week Declared in Support of Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month
9. Experts propose cholesterol tests at 15 months of age
10. E-Prescribing Saving Mississippi Medicaid $1.2 Million Per Month
11. This October, the American Physical Therapy Associations National Physical Therapy Month to Focus on Nations Obesity Epidemic
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
A Month of Exercise Helps Ease Heart Failure
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online ... on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only ... calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... MEDIA, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... treatments in an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually ... to 6 hours per visit, including travel time, equipment ... on a patient, but especially grueling for patients who ... residents of a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian ... integrating and transforming the patient payment and ... several innovative new products and services that ... its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions ... efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The National ... has joined the health policy research organization as ... Romano , MD, senior vice president and chief ... company,s representative on the NPC Board of Directors. ... pleased that Mallinckrodt has joined us in support ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: