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Exercise Can Help Heart Failure Patients

HALLE, Germany, (UPI) — Exercise can counteract muscle breakdown, increase strength and reduce inflammation caused by aging and heart failure, German researchers say.

Dr. Stephan Gielen, deputy director of cardiology at the University Hospital, Martin Luther University of Halle, Germany, who was the lead co-author, said the study involved 60 heart-failure patients and 60 healthy volunteers. Half of each group was age 55 and younger and the other half, age 65 and older.

Half the study participants in each age group were randomly assigned to four weeks of supervised aerobic training or no exercise. Researchers took muscle biopsies of all participants before and after the intervention.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, found for both age groups, four training sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, five days a week plus one 60-minute group exercise session was associated with increased muscle force endurance and oxygen uptake.

Heart failure patients age 55 and under increased their peak oxygen uptake by 25 percent, while those age 65 and older increased it by 27 percent, the researchers said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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