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Home-walking program could help clogged arteries

By Amanda Stewart,

A new study has shown that people with poor circulation can benefit from a home-walking program, and are more likely to stick to the program than others.

In addition to it being more cost effective, researchers believe that home-walking programs are more effective than hospital-based programs at keeping people motivated.

According to Reuters eight to twelve million Americans over the age of 50 have peripheral artery disease (PAD). That is one in every 20 people over the age of 50.

PAD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can be extremely debilitating. African Americans are twice as likely as white people to get the disease. Other high risk groups include smokers, diabetics, people with hypertension or high cholesterol, and anyone who has suffered a heart attack or stroke.

“I was somewhat surprised that we achieved our results of a continued difference between the intervention and control groups because it is very difficult to get patients to adhere to an exercise program long term even when it is supervised, and our program was unsupervised,” said Dr. Mary McDermott, who led the research.

The team of researchers took a look at 194 patients who had clogged leg arteries, according to Headlines and Global News. One group was assigned home-based exercise, while the other did no exercise. After the year long study, those who participated in the program were more likely to be able to walk faster and farther than those who did not.

If insurers were on board with this home-based exercise it could drastically decrease stent placement and in-hospital care, which would ultimately decrease cost.

 

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