Walking Can Help Improve ED After Heart Attack
(HealthDay News) — For men with recent acute myocardial infarction, a home-based walking program is associated with a reduction in reported erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.
Isis Begot, from São Paulo Hospital in Brazil, and colleagues examined the influence of a home-based walking program on erectile function in patients with recent myocardial infarctions. Participants deemed to be at low cardiovascular risk were randomized to either a home-based walking group (41 patients) or a control group (45 patients) receiving usual care. At hospital discharge and 30 days later, the researchers determined functional capacity by the six-minute walk test and assessed sexual function by the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. At hospital discharge, 84% of participants reported previous ED.
The researchers found that, compared with baseline, after 30 days there was a 9% increase in ED in the control group (P=0.08). In contrast, a 71% decrease was reported in ED in the home-based walking group (P<0.0001). Compared with the control group, in the home-based walking group the six-minute walk distance was significantly higher. At 30 days after hospital discharge there was a significant negative correlation between six-minute walk distance and ED.
"This intervention demonstrated a link between functional capacity and exercise training and erectile function improvement," the authors write.