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Exercise may be equal to heart disease

Heart disease is the deadliest illness in the world. At least 17 million people die worldwide from this devastating condition. Even more people are living with heart disease, which limits their ability to lead a full life.

Heart disease can also make it impossible to work enough to support yourself or your family. For this reason, the Social Security Administration includes heart disease on its list of illnesses that qualify sufferers for Social Security Disability benefits.

Because it is so widespread, heart disease is widely studied by the scientific community in the search for better treatments and cures. But while new drug regimens are frequently tested, the potential benefits of exercise have not been studied as much. But a new, large-scale review of scientific literature suggests that exercise may be as effective as drugs in treating heart disease.

The study, published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal, was a review of 305 prior studies that included a total of nearly 340,000 participants. Researchers found no statistical difference between medication alone and exercise when it comes to improving heart disease patients’ health. The study says that doctors should explain the benefits of working out to patients who are only getting modest benefit from medication alone.

Studies like this one could lead to better treatment options in the future. It would be wonderful to see fewer people suffering from this terrible illness. Until then, many Missouri residents living with heart disease can turn to SSD benefits for basic financial needs.

Source: Reuters, “Exercise ‘as good as medicines’ in treating heart disease,” Kate Kelland, Oct. 2, 2013

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