Exercise may be as effective as medications in certain types of disease management, according to a new review published this week in the British Medical Journal. The review, which analyzed more than 305 trials with 339,274 participants, compared drug and exercise interventions and found that exercise proved similar to medications for heart disease prevention, heart failure treatment, and diabetes prevention. For those who had suffered a stroke, exercise was more effective than drug treatment. In addition, physical activity often provided patients with fewer side effects and injuries. The authors stress that these data provide health care professionals with a safe and effective alternative for their patients.
- Naci H, Ioannidis JPA. Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study. BMJ. Published online October 1, 2013.