Physical Activity & Drug Interventions: What is the Comparison?

Research Paper Title

Comparative Effectiveness of Exercise and Drug Interventions on Mortality Outcomes: Meta-epidemiological Study.

Study Question

What is the comparative effectiveness of drug and exercise interventions in reducing the risk of mortality?

Summary Answer

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

What is Known and What This Paper Adds

The comparative mortality benefits of exercise and drug interventions are unknown. Based on available data on the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose), physical activity is potentially as effective as many drug interventions.


BMJ 2013;347:f5577.


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