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HEART DISEASE: Less of a killer without the drugs

Heart disease is already the leading cause of death in the USA and the UK, and forecasters reckon it will soon be the major killer in every developed country around the world.

Despite this epidemic caused by modern living, doctors continue to respond in the only way that they know - by reaching for the prescription pad.
A new study reveals there are far more effective ways of treating heart disease, and they don't involve a drug. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina have discovered that aerobic exercise or stress management training reduce the risks of a fatal attack far better than standard medical care alone.

The research team took a group of 134 patients with stable ischemic heart disease (IHD), and monitored their progress on standard medical care, standard care plus aerobic exercise of 35 minutes duration three times a week for 16 weeks, or standard care plus weekly stress management training for 16 weeks.
Patients who were enrolled either to the exercise or stress management programmes saw their risk profile drop dramatically compared with those who received just standard care, and they displayed less emotional distress and were far less depressed.


  • Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005; 293: 1626-34