LONDON – As little as half an hour of aerobic exercise such as walking, rowing or jogging three times a week can make patients 60 per cent less likely to die, the research found.
The results of the study, carried out by the Department of Cardiology in New Orleans, Louisiana and reported in the American Journal of Medicine, have be welcomed by the British Heart Foundation.
More than 200,000 die each year from conditions related to circulation, including strokes and heart attacks.
One in five men and one in seven women die from heart disease in the UK.
The American study offered patients 12 weeks of exercise classes of 30 or 40 minutes of walking, rowing or jogging and were given advice on diet and lifestyle improvements.
A follow-up with the patients over six years found those who got fitter through the exercise regime were 60 per cent less likely to have died.
Exercise also helped to reduce levels of stress, according to a report of the study in the Daily Express.
The British Heart Foundation told the newspaper: “This study proves once again that exercise has both psychological and physical benefits for patients with heart disease.”
Many British patients with heart problems are put on drugs to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.