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Breathing exercises and surgery

From Times wire reports

Two weeks of breathing exercises before heart bypass surgery can cut the risk of pneumonia and other lung problems after the surgery, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

The study tracked 279 heart surgery patients deemed to be at high risk for postoperative lung problems -- those with diabetes, a history of smoking, bad coughs, obesity and other complications.

Some were given daily, pre-surgical exercises in breathing and forced expiration techniques for at least two weeks. Others got standard care.

After surgery, lung problems affected 18% of the patients who had exercise training compared with 25% in the group who did not. The incidence of pneumonia was 6.5% in the trained group but more than 16% among those given usual care.

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