Stable coronary artery disease is defined as an established pattern of angina pectoris, a history of myocardial infarction, or the presence of plaque documented by catheterization affecting 17 million Americans. According to new research, exercise can significantly improve survival rates among Coronary Artery Disease patients.
The study measured exercise capacity, expressed as metabolic equivalents, or METS, from the patients’ stress test results. It was found that each 1-MET increase in a person’s exercise capacity was associated with a 13% reduction in risk of death, regardless of whether they had previously had a procedure to open a blocked artery.
The individuals who were considered “most fit” had a 75% decreased risk of dying by any cause compared with the least fit individuals, the authors added.
The results suggest that increasing physical fitness through structured exercise programs may be an effective supplement to medications for preventing complications associated with coronary artery disease and improving the survival and quality of life.