There are not often studies that compare drugs and non-drug therapies in the treatment of illness. If such studies took place, the results might call the use of those drugs into question. And that is exactly what happened.
In October the British Medical Journal published a study that reveals a great deal about the tragic focus of health care in the US. In the study, the authors reviewed an astounding 304 prior studies that involved a total of almost 340,000 patients. Specifically, they looked at studies in which drug therapies and exercise programs were recommended for people who had four diseases: stroke, diabetes, heart failure and chronic heart disease. Three of these are in the top 5 causes of death in the US, and they account for hundreds of billions of medical expenses and lost productivity each year.
The majority of the studies they could find on these diseases only looked at the effectiveness of drugs. But they were able to find 57 studies, encompassing almost 15,000 patients, which looked at exercise in the treatment of these diseases. Then they compared which therapies – drugs or exercise – resulted in the greatest reduction in complications and deaths caused by those diseases.
What they found was that exercise was equally or more effective than drug therapies in reducing mortality for strokes, diabetes and heart failure. Only for chronic heart disease were diuretic drugs more effective than exercise at reducing mortality.
This is, of course, astounding news.
Perhaps in the future we will see more studies like this. In the meantime, give us a call and let our team of medical care providers support you in learning how to exercise in the presence of chronic illness.
Give us a call today to schedule a visit: 503-287-4970