Tai Chi may help patients with chronic heart failure

Lisa Wurth

April 26, 2011

A new study to be published in The Archives of Internal Medicine has found that the exercises involved with Tai Chi may improve mood and quality of life among patients who have chronic heart failure. This represents a potentially groundbreaking finding, as those with the condition were previously told to avoid all physical exercise.

Researchers studied 50 patients who practiced Tai Chi for 12 weeks in hourly sessions that occurred twice a week.

"Patients with chronic systolic heart failure were considered too frail to exercise and, through the late 1980s, avoidance of physical activity was a standard recommendation," the authors wrote. "Preliminary evidence suggests that meditative exercise may have benefits for patients with chronic systolic heart failure."

Those with chronic heart failure may also be at particular risk for medical issues and may want to consider investing in a personal emergency response system, because this device allows users to immediately request assistance if they are at home and suffer an unexpected health condition.

EMedicineHealth.com reports that heart failure affects 5 percent of those 75 and over, and 25 percent of those age 85 and over.  

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