Research brief: Lung exercises reduce pneumonia risk

Patients who do breathing exercises before heart surgery are less likely to develop pneumonia afterwards, according to Dutch researchers. They assigned 279 coronary artery bypass graft patients to be given preoperative inspiratory muscle training (IMT) or usual care. After surgery, 18 per cent given IMT developed pulmonary complications, compared to 35 per cent given usual care. Nine patients given IMT developed pneumonia, compared to 22 in the usual care group (JAMA 2006; 296: 1,851–7). 

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