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Exercise as Effective as Some Heart Drugs

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BETHESDA, Md., Jun 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. researchers have found moderate endurance exercises are as effective as some medications in preventing high blood pressure or an enlarged heart.

The Washington University School of Medicine team discovered walking, jogging and cycling, at mild-to-moderate intensity levels, can help reduce an enlarged heart and lower blood pressure.

The results of exercise, however, were equal to the effects of treatment with the drug thiazide diuretic, used to help lower blood pressure.

Patients with high blood pressure are also at risk for developing an enlarged heart, which can be a powerful predictor of heart failure, the researchers said. Reducing blood pressure is key to lowering the risk of stroke and heart failure in hypertensive patients.

Although some medications, such as hydrochlorothiazide, are more effective in reducing blood pressure than exercise, endurance activities are an effective treatment for adults with mild hypertension, the researchers said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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