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Circulation. 1999 Mar 9;99(9):1173-82.

Randomized, controlled trial of long-term moderate exercise training in chronic heart failure: effects on functional capacity, quality of life, and clinical outcome.

Author information

1
Servizio di Cardiologia Riabilitativa, Istituto Cardiologico "G.M. Lancisi", Ancona, Italy. R.Bellardinelli@fastnet.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is still a matter of debate whether exercise training (ET) is a beneficial treatment in chronic heart failure (CHF).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

To determine whether long-term moderate ET improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with CHF and whether these effects translate into a favorable outcome, 110 patients with stable CHF were initially recruited, and 99 (59+/-14 years of age; 88 men and 11 women) were randomized into 2 groups. One group (group T, n=50) underwent ET at 60% of peak &f1;O2, initially 3 times a week for 8 weeks, then twice a week for 1 year. Another group (group NT, n=49) did not exercise. At baseline and at months 2 and 14, all patients underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test, while 74 patients (37 in group T and 37 in group NT) with ischemic heart disease underwent myocardial scintigraphy. Quality of life was assessed by questionnaire. Ninety-four patients completed the protocol (48 in group T and 46 in group NT). Changes were observed only in patients in group T. Both peak &f1;O2 and thallium activity score improved at 2 months (18% and 24%, respectively; P<0. 001 for both) and did not change further after 1 year. Quality of life also improved and paralleled peak VO2. Exercise training was associated both with lower mortality (n=9 versus n=20 for those with training versus those without; relative risk (RR)=0.37; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.84; P=0.01) and hospital readmission for heart failure (5 versus 14; RR=0.29; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.88; P=0.02). Independent predictors of events were ventilatory threshold at baseline (beta-coefficient=0.378) and posttraining thallium activity score (beta-coefficient -0.165).

CONCLUSIONS:

Long-term moderate ET determines a sustained improvement in functional capacity and quality of life in patients with CHF. This benefit seems to translate into a favorable outcome.

Comment in

  • ACP J Club. 1999 Sep-Oct;131(2):42.
PMID:
10069785
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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