11. tbl. 105. árg. 2019

Effects of cardiac rehabilitation on the physical capacity of individuals with heart failure

Áhrif hjartaendurhæfingar á líkamlega afkastagetu einstaklinga með hjartabilun

Purpose: Limited information is available on the effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) on individuals with heart failure (HF) in Iceland. The aim of this study was to analyze whether CR yielded increased physical capacity (PC) (w/kg) as measured by maximum exercise test at the end of the training period.

Materials and methods: This is a retrospective data study from January 2010 to June 2018. Participants were patients with HF and also patients with ejection fraction (EF) 45% or less. Age and other diagnoses did not limit participation. Information about EF and exercise test at the beginning and end of the training period had to be recorded. Relative change in PC on these tests was evaluated by general linear models for repeated measurements. During the study period, 112 participants were enrolled, 27 did not finish the training period and 9 had incomplete data. Data from 76 participants aged 36–83 were analyzed.

Results: Participants‘ PC increased on average by 16% (p<0.001; confidence interval 13-18%). On average, those who attended training more than twice a week improved their PC by 18% which is ­significantly more than those who trained twice or less who improved by 6%. The age group 65-83 improved by 19%, which is significantly more compared to the age group 36-64, which added 12%. No significant difference was in improvement between groups with EF under 40% or 40% and more.

Conclusion: Focused CR for individuals with HF and individuals with impaired EF resulted in increased PC.

Table I  Demographic data from basic measurement, mean ± standard deviation (range)

Table II   Capacity by age group, mean and quartiles

Table III   Changes in capacity by size of ejection fraction, mean and quartiles

Table IV  Capacity by attendance, mean and quartiles

Figure 1  Proportional improvement based on a model with gender, age, ejection fraction (EF), attendance and interaction

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