24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Urinary Incontinence Surgery Won't Raise a Woman's Cancer RiskCOVID Vaccines Trigger Protective Immune Response in Nursing Home Residents: StudyCOVID Vaccines Might Not Protect Certain Cancer PatientsHad Facial Fillers? What You Need to Know About COVID VaccinesAntibody Cocktail May Curb Infection in Unvaccinated Who Are Exposed to COVID-19Scientists Find Clues to Why AstraZeneca's Vaccine May Cause ClotsYou've Got Fungi in Your Lungs, and That's OKNon-Emergency Surgeries Are Rebounding, But Backlogs RemainPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldSupply of J&J COVID Vaccine to Drop 86 Percent Next WeekStressed, Exhausted: Frontline Workers Faced Big Mental Strain in PandemicNIH Starts Trial Looking at Rare Allergic Reactions to COVID VaccinesNot Just Keyboards: Many Types of Workers Can Develop Carpal TunnelBlack Women Are Dying of COVID at Much Higher Rates Than White MenTwo Vaccines Show Effectiveness Against Emerging COVID VariantsWomen More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms: StudyCOVID Cases Climb in the Midwest as British Variant Takes Hold in U.S.'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With PatientsNo Proof COVID Vaccines Can Trigger Guillain-Barré SyndromeFor People With PAD, Exercise Can Be Tough But RewardingPublic Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: Poll1 in 3 COVID Survivors Struggle With Mental Health Issues Months LaterA Few People With COVID Went a Crowded Bar: Here's What HappenedNearly 8 in 10 School, Child Care Staff Have Gotten at Least 1 Dose of COVID Vaccine: CDCModerna COVID Vaccine Offers Protection for at Least 6 Months: StudyStrain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an ExitCOVID Shot Earlier in Pregnancy Better for Baby: StudyDoctors' Group Says Antibiotics Can Be Taken for Shorter PeriodsIf You've Had COVID, One Vaccine Jab Will Do: StudyAbout 40,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19Study Refutes Theory That Blood Type Affects COVID RiskHow Willing Are Americans to Donate COVID Vaccines to Other Countries?Got Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Stop Being Cautious, Experts SayCOVID Drove 23% Spike in U.S. Deaths In 2020Faster-Spreading COVID Variant Expanding in United StatesWhen Will America's Kids Get Their COVID Vaccines?AHA News: Why You Should Pay Attention to InflammationMany Recovering COVID Patients Show Signs of Long-Term Organ DamageCOVID Fears Mean More Cancers Are Being Diagnosed at Later StagesSome Hospitalized COVID Patients Develop SeizuresCan Vaccinations Stop COVID Transmission? College Study Aims to Find OutCDC Confirms COVID as Third Leading Cause of Death in 2020Research Reveals How Aspirin Helps Prevent Colon CancerPfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Is Very Effective in Kids as Young as 12AHA News: The Secret to Good Health Is No Secret. So Why Is It So Hard to Achieve?'Couch Potato' Lifestyles Cause Up to 8% of Global Deaths: StudyHave to Travel During Spring Break? Here's How to Stay SafeNew Coronavirus Can Also Infect Cells in the MouthBiden, Top Health Officials Warn of Risk of Another COVID SurgeAHA News: Black Young Adults Face Higher Stroke Risk Than Their White Peers
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

For People With PAD, Exercise Can Be Tough But Rewarding

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 7th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Fast-paced walking is painful for the millions of people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). But new research shows that a slower, pain-free pace won't cut it if improvement in mobility is the goal.

The study included more than 300 of the roughly 8.5 million Americans with PAD. It's a condition in which plaque build-up in arteries slows the flow of blood to the legs.

"People with PAD can typically walk only a couple of blocks before they have to stop and rest," said study author Dr. Mary McDermott, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

PAD makes walking difficult because narrowed arteries prevent delivery of oxygen to leg muscles during activity, she explained.

"Inadequate oxygen delivery to leg muscles during walking causes pain, discomfort, tightness, weakness or cramping," said McDermott, who is also deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Even so, "high-intensity" walking — typically supervised in a health care setting — is the standard of care for PAD patients. While it boosts a patient's ability to walk farther and longer, both the pain and the need for supervision turn off a lot patients.

So researchers wanted to see whether walking at a slow pain-free pace at home — without supervision — could afford the same benefits.

Participants (average age: 69) were randomly assigned to a slow-paced walking program, a fast-paced program, or no exercise program at all. Those in the exercise groups were outfitted with devices to keep tabs on the intensity of their walking.

Over a year, both exercise groups were asked to walk five times a week for up to 50 minutes per session. Instead of in-person supervision, all had access to telephone coaches who were able to track participants' activity patterns in real-time.

At six and 12 months, all of the study participants took six-minute distance walking tests and completed questionnaires designed to assess their level of impairment and overall physical function. A treadmill test was also given at the study's end, and some had calf muscle biopsies taken to determine leg health.

The findings were clear: While those in the slow-paced group walked twice as many minutes as those in the painful, fast-paced group, they ultimately fared no better in terms of improved walking ability than those who didn't walk at all, McDermott said.

But those in the fast group made significant strides in how long and how far they could walk. And they were able to boost their performance even without oversight, the findings showed.

"It is likely that the high-intensity [exercise] triggers biologic responses that may improve muscle health and blood flow to the legs," McDermott said.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-University of California, Los Angeles Cardiomyopathy Center, reviewed the study.

"These findings reinforce the essential role of high-intensity exercise in patients with lower extremity peripheral artery disease," he said.

The no pain, no gain message is clear, Fonarow added.

"Low-intensity exercise turned out to be significantly less effective than high-intensity exercise" when the goal is to improve a patient's ability to function and overall quality of life, he said.

McDermott said the study didn't look into whether there's anything PAD patients can do to relieve the pain of fast-paced walking.

"Further research is needed," she said.

Her team's work, which was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, was published April 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

For more about peripheral artery disease, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Mary McDermott, MD, professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and deputy editor, Journal of the American Medical Association; Gregg Fonarow, MD, director, Ahmanson-University of California, Los Angeles Cardiomyopathy Center; Journal of the American Medical Association, April 6, 2021