Physical activity for coronary heart disease: Cardioprotective mechanisms and effects on prognosis

Domenico Scrutinio, Fabio Bellotto, Rocco Lagioia, Andrea Passantino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sedentary lifestyle is one of the five major risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) along with hypertension, abnormal values of blood lipids, smoking and obesity. After an acute myocardial infarction, risk factors continue to contribute synergically to the clinical progression and prognosis of CHD. Regular physical exercise has been shown to improve exercise capacity and quality of life, to reduce symptoms and to decrease the risk of new coronary events in patients with CHD. Regular physical activity with its favourable effects on coronary risk factors, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, tendency to thrombosis, on autonomic tone and myocardial ischemia, may play a role in reducing the risk of new coronary events and death. In view of the clinical benefits yielded and its well-documented cardioprotective mechanisms, regular physical activity should be regarded, by general practitioners and cardiologists, as a true and effective form of therapy for patients with CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Coronary heart disease
  • Physical activity
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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