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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2007 Jun;68(2):87-95.

[Physical exercise and sport activities in patients with and without coronary heart disease].

[Article in Italian]

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Cattedra di Medicina dello Sport, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy.



The quantity and intensity of physical activity required for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the association between physical activity and coronary risk.


We studied 100 patients with chest pain, 78 men and 22 women, not older than 65 years, admitted to a coronary care unit. Patients were subdivided in 3 groups: the first group included patients with acute myocardial infarction, the second group included patients with chronic heart disease, the third included patients with non-ischemic chest-pain. A questionnaire on daily physical activity was filled by each patient.


A significantly higher percentage of patients with myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease had a sedentary life style compared to patients of the third group. Compared with subjects without heart disease, a significantly higher percentage of patients of the first and second group covered a daily average distance shorter than 500 meters, while a significantly inferior percentage covered a distance longer than 1 Km every day. A significantly lower percentage of patients with coronary heart disease practised sport compared with the third group. At the time of hospitalization a very small percentage of coronary heart disease patients still practised sport.


The association between physical activity and reduced coronary risk is clear; in order to obtain benefits it is sufficient just walking every day. Regarding physical activity, continuity is important: patients, who practised sport only in juvenile age, breaking off when older, may lose the obtained advantages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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