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Vigorous exercise safe for CHD patients

Patients with established coronary heart disease should not be discouraged from taking part in vigorous exercise according to new UK data, despite previous concerns it could increase their chance of an MI.

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast analysed data from the Caerphilly Collaborative Heart Disease Study, which has been following the health of 2,512 middle-aged men since 1979.

The analysis was prompted by data from a large 2003 study of British civil servants published in 2003. It reported that, in men with electrocardiogram ischaemia but no symptoms, vigorous habitual leisure activity might be associated with increased subsequent risk of myocardial infarction (MI).

After adjusting for age and other confounders, the men who had CHD at the start of the Caerphilly study - but who were in the highest third of vigorous physical activity since - were 31% less likely to have an MI than those who exercised least.

European Heart Journal early online publication.

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