You will continue to see more and more studies that show the efficacy of exercise in a subset of heart failure patients. It would be ideal if they were covered by Medicare to cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Exercise can counteract muscle breakdown, increase strength and reduce inflammation caused by aging and heart failure , according to new research in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.
The benefits for heart failure patients are similar to those for anyone who exercises: there’s less muscle-wasting, and their bodies become conditioned to handle more exercise.
Age of the patients didn’t matter, either, researchers found.
“Many physicians – and insurance companies – still believe that cardiac rehabilitation does not really help in old age. This study clearly falsifies this belief,” said Stephan Gielen, M.D., lead co-author and Deputy Director of Cardiology at the University Hospital, Martin-Luther-University of Halle, Germany.
Between 2005 and 2008, researchers recruited 60 heart-failure patients and 60 healthy volunteers. Half of each group was 55 years and younger and the other half, 65 years and older, resulting in an average age difference of 20 years between the groups. Half…
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