Previously, it was thought that patients should avoid exertion post-heart attack. Professor Ulrik Wisløff shocked his own professional environment when he suggested training and high heart rate.
On Tuesday, Wisløff (51) will be awarded the National Association for the Public Health’s Heart Research Award (Nasjonalforeningen for Folkehelsens Hjerteforskningspris).
“There were probably many who thought I was going crazy when I said I wanted to find out if it worked with hard training on patients after a heart attack,” says Wisløff in an interview with the association.
The year was 2000 when Wisløff attended an American sports medicine convention. At this time, it was a common belief that heart patients should recover by resting and taking it easy. It was important to avoid high strain on the heart.
But Wisløff had looked at trials where rats were put to exercise after having a heart attack. The results showed very good development for their heart. The American doctors were quite alarmed when the Norwegian suggested testing the same on humans.
The world’s largest training survey
However, Wisløff received support in the research community in Trondheim. Today, the advice for heart disease has turned, and there is increased faith in exercise for this patient group as well.
Wisløff heads the Cardiac Exercise Research Group research center, which is affiliated with NTNU in Trondheim. Soon he will start the world’s largest training survey in collaboration with two former Heart Research Award winners. The NorEx study includes 13,000 Norwegians who have had a heart attack. The goal is to document the effect of exercise on patients.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today