If you are one of the 5 million Americans that have heart failure, a new study published in JAMA provides evidence that exercise may help you feel better. Researchers found that moderate exercise is not only safe, but beneficial for heart failure patients.
This study provides additional evidence against bed rest recommendations that were routinely given 20-30 years ago. The goal of the research, compared to other similar studies, was to find a statistical benefit to exercise and provide additional evidence supporting safety for stable patients. While the statistical significance was small, benefits were seen early in the study and were greater in patients with a severe form of the disease. The results may have been affected by the fact that some participants did not follow the exercise regimen they were given. Even a small improvement in their quality of life, though, is a step in the right direction for individuals with this condition. Talk to your health care provider to find out if exercise could benefit you. Consider bringing a copy of this study to your health care provider along with any questions you may have. If you are interested in information such as risk factors or treatment options related to cardiovascular disease, visit the Alliance’s website. Another resource, The Silver Book, can help you stay updated on new research related to heart and other diseases.