Saturday, August 6, 2011

Poverty hurts cardiac rehab (USA)

Broken-up sidewalks, scary dogs in unfenced yards and heavy traffic can ruin a walk around the neighborhood. For heart attack survivors who need to exercise, such conditions can interfere with an important part of their rehabilitation. In a report published this week, researchers said they found that heart attack survivors who lived in low-income neighborhoods exercised less than heart attack survivors from wealthier neighborhoods. The findings weren't a surprise to Shireen Rajaram, the director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Center for Reducing Health Disparities. "We constantly hear complaints from our low-income communities that our neighborhoods are not supportive of walking, biking, just basically moving around," Rajaram said. Neighbors' behavior also can affect one's exercise habits, she said. "If nobody else is walking out on the street, if everybody else is suspicious of each other, you're less likely to go out," Rajaram said. The study of heart attack survivors' exercise habits was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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