Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Recent Heart Attack? Consider Cardiac Rehab!

Cardiac rehabilitation, or guided exercise under direction of a physical therapist, is a valuable yet underutilized therapy for patients suffering a heart attack. Importantly, in those patients with ongoing risk factors related to obesity and insulin resistance/diabetes, aggressive cardiac rehab was recently shown to be especially effective.

Specifically, two groups of patients were enrolled in high intesity (5-7 days weekly of 45-60 minutes exercise) versus standard (3 days weekly of 25-40 minutes exercise).

High intensity patients lost more than twice as much weight over 5 months as standard patients (18 pounds vs. 8 pounds and had significantly greater reductions in 2 major cardiac risk factors — waist circumference and insulin resistance. At 1 year, both groups had gained a couple of pounds over 5-month weights, but total body-fat percentages in the aggressive group remained significantly lower than initial readings. Other cardiac risk factors changed too – including decreased insulin resistance, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, and decreased measures of insulin, triglycerides, blood pressure, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and the ratio of total to HDL (good) cholesterol.

Overall then, patients who took advantage of their motivation after heart attack to aggressively address exercise goals reduced potential risk factors and set the tone for a healthier life. If you have been a heart attack sufferer, ask your doctor about cardiac rehab. If you are not a heart attack sufferer but have risks, ask your doctor about trying a program like this on your own.

Questions and comments welcome as always!

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »