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Home Walking May Help Leg Arteries

Support groups that encourage people to walk may help people with clogged leg arteries, a new study suggests. The study included 194 people age 65 or older. All of them had peripheral artery disease. This is a narrowing of leg arteries. It causes pain when people walk even short distances. People in the study were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group attended weekly sessions that encouraged them to walk. This part of the study lasted 6 months. Then, for another 6 months, they got weekly phone calls from the group leader. The leader encouraged them to walk at least 5 days a week. People in the other group also went to weekly meetings on health topics. But they did not get any messages about exercise. After 12 months, 80% of those in the exercise group were able to climb a flight of stairs or walk one-quarter of a mile without help.

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