Physical exercise and Sport activities in patients with and without coronary heart disease
AbstractBackground: The quantity and intensity of physical activity required for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the association between physical activity and coronary risk. Methods: We studied 100 patients with chest pain, 78 men and 22 women, not older than 65 years, admitted to a coronary care unit. Patients were subdivided in 3 groups: the first group included patients with acute myocardial infarction, the second group included patients with chronic heart disease, the third included patients with non-ischemic chest-pain. A questionnaire on daily physical activity was filled by each patient. Results: A significantly higher percentage of patients with myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease had a sedentary life style compared to patients of the third group. Compared with subjects without heart disease, a significantly higher percentage of patients of the first and second group covered a daily average distance shorter than 500 meters, while a significantly inferior percentage covered a distance longer than 1 Km every day. A significantly lower percentage of patients with coronary heart disease practised sport compared with the third group. At the time of hospitalization a very small percentage of coronary heart disease patients still practised sport. Conclusions: The association between physical activity and reduced coronary risk is clear; in order to obtain benefits it is sufficient just walking every day. Regarding physical activity, continuity is important: patients, who practised sport only in juvenile age, breaking off when older, may lose the obtained advantages.
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