Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Plaque regression with statin, exercise and lifestyle modification
    DeadManWalking57 posted:
    "An appropriate combination of statin therapy and lifestyle modification, in particular, physical activity, may result in coronary plaque regression. This combined treatment strategy, inducing an increase of the serum HDL-C, may contribute to coronary plaque regression."
    Was this Helpful?
    15 of 26 found this helpful
    garvaluk responded:
    What sort of "aerobic exercise" are we talking about? Does walking 9 miles at a speed of 3 mph count as an aerobic exercise? I'm a 56 year old male, 5.5" and 160 pounds.
    DeadManWalking57 replied to garvaluk's response:
    That is a lot of walking. Is that 3 days worth of exercise, or all in one shot ? Its aerobic unless you were out of breath a lot of the time. Breathing hard indicates one is working too hard.

    How beneficial it is depends on how fit you are for it. If it left you exhausted, it was too much. Reading a book at the same time, maybe too easy.

    An hour at a time is plenty of exercise. 7 hours a week is a good plan, across at least 4 days. I don't try 3 hour activities too often, though I did manage to play casual bandminton year ago for about that long, was not overly tired afterwards.
    garvaluk replied to DeadManWalking57's response:

    Yes, it is all in one shot. Weather and time permitted, I do it three times a week. And the end of each walk I'm a little bit tired, but never breathing hard or left exhausted. The question is whether this sort of exercise will help plaque regression, as stated in the study mentioned at the beginning of this discussion. Are there cardiologist in this forum who could answer this question?

    An_192745 replied to garvaluk's response:
    Dear DMW,

    I'm wondering whether you have a medical background or the advice you give is mainly born out of your experience as a patient.
    11CUPS replied to garvaluk's response:

    RedWings2004 replied to garvaluk's response:
    I walk 4 mi/day at 3.5 mph, and the most I have ever done is 6, but that was just because of boredom. If I had to be somewhere 9 miles away I could walk there and probably at a faster pace if need be. My hats off to you for walking that 9 miles at a time. I read the book "Younger Next Year", which has a deceptive title, but is basically similar in philosophy to Dr Ornish, with more emphasis on exercize. In the book they recommend a once monthly long sustained exercize such as you are doing for 3 hours. I enjoy Dr Henry Lodge's portions of the book. I have taken to downloading Dr. Dean Edell's daily radio program, and listening to it on my IPOD. His shows are archived Mon-Fri 1-2PM on this site.
    RedWings2004 responded:
    This is welcome information. Now if combining it with Dr Ornish's program results in even greater regression we will be on the right track. I have coronary blockage diagnosed 7 years ago, but they tell me that collateral vessels are compensating for the blockage. Since I first started tracking cholesterol in 97 I have gone from total 213 and HDL 29 to total 84 and HDL 41. Hopefully that is working in my favor. I was told 7 years ago that I would someday need bypass, and I am doing what I can do to avoid that. I am 63, started a 2nd career at 57 and hope to keep working until I am 71. I am pretty active, and I enjoy the action of the office. No real pressure there, but a lot of action.
    DeadManWalking57 replied to An_192745's response:
    Anon_61447 in response to:

    "I'm wondering whether you have a medical background or the advice you give is mainly born out of your experience as a patient. "

    Rehab specialists are very conservative in what they tell patients due to liability concerns. I am a former college athlete in unusual circumstances of very severe atherosclerosis. Part of the conundrum in rehab is continued improvement, but not overstressing the heart.

    The one pubmed article I cite above is the small tip of the iceberg of research material I have read the past 9 years. Studies on the mechanisms of arterial blockages, the effect of diet on atherosclerosis, anti-oxidant effect on LDL, diet effects on HDL, studies on paraoxonase, endothelial progenitor cells, collaterals and their formation, plus all manner of studies or books on various exercise modalities for cardiac rehabilitation are among what I read.

    I am a patient in regular contact with my internist, my cardiologist, and my HMO. The two doctors have full time practices, and have not done much research in cardiac rehabilitation since it out of their area of expertise. I was assigned a 3rd doctor who checked me at home for nearly a year every two weeks. I discuss what I read and learn with all these people. My HMO periodically has a nurse call me and interview me every month for a few months, with whom I also discuss what I do in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, and what I learn in research.

    I received a fairly extreme compliment from the interview nurse a few months ago after a particularly long discussion with her about what I do, and the information I keep up with. She found me extremely knowledgeable, and way ahead of almost anyone she has spoken to on cardiac rehabiliation and lifestyle changes for atherosclerosis. She said I should write a book so I can share everything I have learned with others.

    So far, I just write primarily on WebMD. You won't find any contradictions from doctors, though there have been one or two people who give me a little grief. I could not care less. I am privileged to have the backing of webMD as a regular and accurate contributor.

    Assume I am wrong at your own risk. My wife asked my cardiologist for a prognosis on how long I might live after bypass surgery in January 2006. People always get an answer. Silence is a cruel blow. She was given silence. I am here 4 years later, a healthy athletic patient in recovery with no signs of expected heart failure, able to get out and play basketball with kids a third my age occasionally.

    Wisdom is a gift from above, to be shared.


    PS: or more accurately, a predicted dead man, out walking, rowing, shooting hoops, lifting weights, loving my wife, and doing just about any activity I choose.

    May you be as blessed.
    DeadManWalking57 replied to RedWings2004's response:

    What is your diet like ? Total cholesterol of 84 may be too low. Are you sure that is not your LDL ?

    Total Cholsterol is comprised of LDL HDL (20% of triglycerides). HDL of 41 would leave 43 for LDL and the triglycerides. My doctors don't want my LDL below 50, and actually want it closer to 60 or 70.

    If the LDL/HDL ratio is under 2.5 and you have low fat high anti-oxidant diet, and you exercise, you may have had significant regression or development of additional collaterals.

    Keep taking good care of yourself.

    Helpful Tips

    Heart by pass
    Hi, just wanted to tell you I had triple heart bypass and entered a cardiac rehab program with exercises three times a week,heart ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

    Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center