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Randomised controlled trial
Compared to a general wellness programme, an 18-month exercise programme for older women improves bone mineral density and fall risk but has similar improvements in predicted coronary heart disease risk
  1. Graeme Jones
  1. Correspondence to Graeme Jones Menzies Research Institute, Private Bag 23, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia; g.jones{at}

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Exercise and health

It is widely recognised that exercise is good for the prevention of a large number of illnesses. This conclusion has been drawn in large measure from observational studies that follow a group who choose to exercise and then compare them with a group who choose not to. This method can lead to a number of biases in terms of other health behaviours; for example, women who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were long thought to be protected against heart disease on the basis of observational studies, but a later randomised trial proved there was a higher heart attack risk with HRT, highlighting the value of the randomised trial design. Although there have been a number of trials, much uncertainty remains about what sort of exercise, …

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