Exercise may work better than medication after a heart attack or stroke to prevent early death. At least two-and-a-half  hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, was as good as drugs for heart attack patients and more effective than medicine for stroke patients who were capable of exercising–although such patients may have been healthier to begin with.

Doctors should discuss lifestyle changes as well as medication use with patients who have had a stroke or heart attacks–a combination of medicine and exercise may be best for many people.

Source:  Huseyin Naci, doctoral candidate in pharmaceutical policy and economics at London School of Economic, fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and leader of an analysis of 305 studies, published in BMJ.  Bottom Line Personal November 2014