Treadmill Exercise Recommended for Peripheral Arterial Disease
Physicians should prescribe treadmill exercise for patients with peripheral arterial disease, a JAMA study concludes
18 jan 2009--Some 150 patients with peripheral arterial disease, with or without intermittent claudication, were randomized to one of three groups: treadmill exercise, lower-extremity resistance training, or a control group. (The active treatment groups exercised three times a week for 6 months under supervision.)
By the end of the trial, treadmill exercise resulted in greater improvement in the 6-minute-walk test than resistance training, and it also improved brachial artery flow-mediated dilation. For its part, resistance training improved several measures of functional performance, such as stair-climbing ability.
The authors say their results "suggest ... treadmill exercise confers a favorable systemic vascular effect that may reduce cardiovascular events" in these patients, regardless of the presence of intermittent claudication.