Walking slows decline with leg artery disease
04 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Walking at least 3 times per week seems to significantly slow the functional decline seen in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that involves hardening of the blood vessels in the legs and elsewhere, according to a new report.
Previous reports have linked exercise rehabilitation programs with improved treadmill performance in PAD patients, but the benefits of a regular walking program were unclear.
To investigate, Dr. Mary McGrae McDermott, from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues compared the functional outcomes of 143 PAD patients who walked for exercise at least 3 times per week with those of 274 patients who walked lesser amounts. The subjects were followed for a median duration of 36 months.
Walking at least 3 times per week was associated with a significantly smaller annual decline in the distance walked in 6 minutes compared with lesser amounts of walking.
"Our data suggest that patients with PAD who are unable or unwilling to participate in supervised walking exercise programs may benefit from self-directed walking at home," the authors conclude in the Annals of Internal Medicine.