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Exercise is safe, improves outcomes for patients with heart failure
Date:11/11/2008

DURHAM, N.C. Working out on a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill just 25 to 30 minutes most days of the week is enough to modestly lower risk of hospitalization or death for patients with heart failure, say researchers from Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).

The findings stem from the HF-ACTION trial (A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes Exercise TraiNing), the most comprehensive study to date examining the effects of exercise upon patients with heart failure. The study was reported today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008 by Christopher O'Connor M.D., director of the Duke Heart Center and principal investigator of the trial, and David Whellan, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University, co-principal investigator.

HF-ACTION enrolled 2331 patients at 82 study sites throughout the U.S., Canada and France. Patients were randomized into a group that received usual care or to a group that received usual care plus an exercise training program that began under supervision but then transitioned to home-based, self-monitored workouts.

Researchers hypothesized that participation in an exercise program would significantly lower the incidence of death and hospitalization among patients with heart failure.

But based on the protocol-specified initial analysis, exercise training produced only a modest, non-significant reduction in the primary endpoint of all-cause hospitalization or all-cause death.

A planned, secondary analysis, however, that took into account the strongest clinical factors predicting hospitalization or death, found exercise to be significantly beneficial.

Researchers hope the findings will finally put to rest long-held fears that exercise may be too risky for some patients. "The most important thing we found from this study is that exercise is safe for patients with heart failure, and when adjustments were made for specific
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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-724-5343
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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