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Exercise can reduce heart disease in MS sufferers

30th April 2007

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferers who exercise have been found to reduce their risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD).

Reduced mobility in MS sufferers often leads to secondary diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and CAD.

During the research, carried out by the University of Florida, MS sufferers and those without MS (control subjects) took part in an aerobic cycling exercise protocol three days a week.

Serum samples were obtained to measure cholesterol, body weight was measured and blood pressure was taken.

Aerobic fitness was found to improve ten per cent in MS sufferers and 14 per cent in control subjects.

MS subjects showed significant reductions in body fat after 24 aerobic sessions.

Improvements in the number of CAD risk factors occurred in seven of the 11 participants who had MS, four of which reduced their relative CAD risk by at least one factor.

The results suggest that those with mild to moderate MS can improve their aerobic fitness to a level comparable with their non-MS counterparts.

Thus, MS does not preclude this group from reducing their CAD risk through exercise.