A decline in physical function with age is strongly associated with disability in later life. Although regular exercise increases muscle strength and slows functional decline, the majority of elderly people are sedentary and either unwilling or unable to get adequate exercise. Alternative strategies to improve physical function are needed. Recent evidence suggests a potential role for angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in improving muscle function in elderly people.

Dr. Deepa Sumukadas and colleagues conducted a 20-week randomized trial involving 130 participants aged 65 years and older who had problems with mobility or functional impairment but who had no heart failure. They found that the ACE inhibitor perindopril significantly improved exercise capacity and maintained health-related quality of life compared with placebo. The degree of improvement was equivalent to that reported after 6 months of exercise training.

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Source: Dr. Deepa Sumukadas
Canadian Medical Association Journal

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