Monday, November 20, 2000

Study finds exercise cuts risk of second attack

By Haleh V. Samiei
Washington Post

        Researchers at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center investigated physical activity levels in 406 people who survived a first heart attack.

        The group included 152 women and 254 men; 196 were Mexican Americans and 210 non-Hispanic whites. People who were physically active prior to their heart attack and who maintained their activity levels in the next seven years had a 79 percent lower risk of death compared to people who people who were inactive before and remained so after.

        Regardless of whether they were previously active or inactive, people who increased their physical activity levels after their initial heart attack had an 89 percent lower risk of death and a 78 percent lower risk of a second heart attack.

        This is the first study to examine the role of physical activity in reducing the risk of a second heart attack or death that includes a large number of Mexican Americans and women.

        Survivors of heart attacks should consult with their doctors to develop an exercise program that may reduce their risk of a further heart attack.

        You can find this study in the Oct. 31 issue of Circulation; abstract online at


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