Monday, September 29, 2008

Doctors Not Prescribing Exercise For Blood Pressure

“When doctors tell patients with high blood pressure to get some exercise, most of them listen -- yet too few doctors are doing so, a new study suggests. Using data from a government health survey, researchers found that only one-third of U.S. adults with high blood pressure said their doctors had counseled them on getting regular exercise. But of those who did get such advice, 71 percent followed it -- and had lower blood pressure than their counterparts who remained inactive, the investigators report in the journal Ethnicity & Disease. ‘The blood pressure reduction was ... unexpected, as this was not a trial to determine whether exercise would reduce blood pressure,’ lead researcher Dr. Josiah Halm, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, said in a statement. Doctors, he said, should be encouraging exercise as a way to manage high blood pressure, even if they think they do not have time for such a conversation. ‘Clinicians will always decry not having enough time to counsel, but a method of using a prescription pad with exercise recommendations as suggested in the study will help solve this quandary,’ Halm said.”

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