Leg Workouts: A Powerful Defense Against Fatal Heart Attacks, Study Finds

Working out your legs may not be the most enjoyable part of your gym routine, but a new study reveals a compelling reason to prioritize leg workouts. According to research presented at the Heart Failure 2023 conference, focusing on leg strength can significantly lower the risk of heart failure following a heart attack.

The study, presented at the scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), emphasized the connection between heart attacks, known as myocardial infarctions, and subsequent heart failure. To investigate the relationship between leg strength and the risk of heart failure after a heart attack, researchers examined 932 patients who had been hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction between 2007 and 2020. None of these patients had a history of heart failure prior to admission. The study discovered that patients with lower quadriceps strength had a higher incidence of heart failure, while those with stronger quadriceps had a lower risk.

In a follow-up study conducted a few years later, researchers found that individuals with higher quadriceps strength experienced a 41% reduction in the risk of death. Kensuke Ueno, the lead author from the Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, highlighted the importance of quadriceps strength as an easily measurable factor in clinical practice. He suggested that assessing quadriceps strength could help identify patients at higher risk of developing heart failure after a heart attack, enabling them to receive more intense surveillance and care. Ueno emphasized the need to encourage exercises that strengthen the quadriceps.

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