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2693 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 14/4/2021)

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exercise and peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

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  • a review shows that exercise programmes clearly improve walking time and distance for people considered fit for exercise regimens. This benefit appears to be sustained over two years (1)
    • the review authors concluded that:
    • exercise therapy should play an important part in the care of selected patients with intermittent claudication, to improve walking times and distances
    • anngioplasty may be more beneficial than exercise in improving walking capacity in the short term but it is uncertain whether this effect is sustained over 12 months.
    • antiplatelet agents were less effective than exercise in improving walking distance but should continue to be used because of benefits in reducing cardiovascular events and death
      • in contrast, pentoxifylline was more effective than exercise but may have fewer beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system in general
      • Iloprost gave less improvement in walking time than exercise
      • pneumatic foot and calf compression showed non-significant increases in walking distances over exercise
  • a randomised trial involving the use of treadmill exercise and resistance training in patients with peripheral arterial disease revealed (2)
    • demonstrated that supervised treadmill exercise intervention increases walking endurance, measured by the 6-minute walk and treadmill walking performance, in patients with PAD both with and without classic intermittent claudication symptoms
    • lower extremity resistance training intervention did not improve 6-minute walk distance in PAD participants
      • however, resistance training improved maximal treadmill walking time and quality-of-life measures, particularly stair climbing ability
    • study authors concluded that "..physicians should recommend supervised treadmill exercise programs for PAD patients, regardless of whether they have classic symptoms of intermittent claudication.."

NICE state (3):

  • offer a supervised exercise programme to all people with intermittent claudication
    • involves:
      • 2 hours of supervised exercise a week for a 3-month period
      • encouraging people to exercise to the point of maximal pain


Last reviewed 04/2018