Exercise vs. Drug interventions
Researchers at the London School of Economics, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine compared the effectiveness of exercise versus drugs on mortality for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, and prevention of diabetes. Secondary prevention refers to treating patients with existing disease before it causes significant illness. They analyzed the results of 305 randomized controlled trials involving 339,274 individuals and found no statistically detectable differences between exercise and drug interventions for secondary prevention of heart disease and prevention of diabetes.
And while it is tempting to believe popping a pill will cure all ills, simple lifestyle changes have already proved effective in the treatment of arthritis of the knee, depression, and high blood pressure. The study researchers concluded that “In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition.”
“Exercise potentially as effective as many drugs for common diseases”, British Medical Journal, Tuesday, October 1, 2013 – 13:31