Which is More Likely to Delay Death: Medication or Exercise?

Reference:Naci H1, Ioannidis JP. Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study. BMJ. 2013 Oct 1;347:f5577.

This is one of the best meta-epidemiological studies ever done comparing the benefits of prescription meds for various health conditions to plain old exercise.

This massive review study included over 300 RCTs with over 300,000 participants.

Conclusion #1: Exercise and physical activity prescription were equally effective as drug interventions in the prevention of coronary heart disease and pre-diabetes.

Conclusion #2: Exercise/physical activity interventions were more effective than drug treatments among patients with stroke.

Grand Conclusion: Exercise interventions and many drug interventions are often potentially similar in terms of their mortality benefits and in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, rehabilitation after stroke, and prevention of diabetes.

Personal Comment: I don’t know about you, but I consider this massive study published in the British Medical Journal as pretty big news! But sadly it may fall on deaf ears as we rely so much on medicine for quick fixes.

I am certainly not a “big pharma conspiracy” type of person, as I appreciate the MDs and the pharmacy industry do their best to save lives and they certainly have done an amazing job with our life expectancy, which is better than any time in our history.

It has, however, reached a point where we take less active responsibility for our own health but passively rely on MDs, meds and herbs. I don’t at all blame the MDs or the big pharma.

Posted on: August 23, 2014

Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

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