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Exercise May Improve Heart Attack Survival, Study Reveals

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Exercise May Improve Heart Attack Survival, Study RevealsAccording to new research, exercise is related to improved survival after a heart attack. Increase in physical activity can increase the survival chances.

The last author of this study, Professor Eva Prescott, University of Copenhagen, Denmark said, We are aware that exercise protects individuals from having a heart attack.  As per animal studies, myocardial infarctions are minor and are less likely result in death among animals that have exercise. We wanted to find out if physical activity was associated with minor myocardial infarctions in humans.

There were 14,223 participants of the Copenhagen City Heart Study included in the study, who never had stroke or heart attack. Their levels of exercise were evaluated at baseline in the years 1976-1978 and identified as moderate, light, sedentary or high.

Participants were observed through registries till 2013. Totally 1664 persons had a myocardial infarction among which 425 lost their lives instantly. The researchers compared the levels of exercise between those who deceased immediately due to myocardial infarction and those who survived. Results showed that participants who had physical activity were less likely to lose their lives due to myocardial infarction.

Exercise and Survival Rates

Participants with light or moderate / high levels of physical activity were 32% and 47% less likely to lose their lives than the sedentary ones.

Prescott mentioned that participants who had adequate exercise were more likely to survive while sedentary participants were less likely to survive from their myocardial infarction. There was a dose-response relationship; hence those participants who had enough exercise survived. People who had exercise may develop collateral blood vessels which assure them that the heart keeps on getting adequate blood after a blockage. Exercise may also enhance the levels of chemicals that improve the flow of the blood and minimize injury to the heart from a heart attack.

According to Prescott, The results of this study needs to be confirmed prior to making any strong recommendations, since this was an observational study. But it is good to continue exercises even after atherosclerosis which may minimize the severity of a heart attack if it happens.