Send to

Choose Destination
J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2001 Jul-Aug;21(4):210-7.

Clinical profile and outcomes of obese patients in cardiac rehabilitation stratified according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute criteria.

Author information

Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA.



Obesity is a major health problem and must be evaluated and treated in cardiac rehabilitation patients. The purpose of this study was to identify the scope of this problem in an urban-based cardiac rehabilitation program by evaluating the prevalence of obesity, and comparing the clinical and risk factor profiles and outcomes of patients stratified according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) weight classifications.


Four hundred forty-nine consecutive cardiac rehabilitation patients, aged 57 +/- 11 years, were stratified according to the NHLBI criteria as: normal (body mass index [BMI] 18-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2), class I/II obese (BMI 30-39.9 kg/m2), and class III morbidly obese (BMI > or = 40 kg/m2). Baseline cardiac risk factors and dietary habits were identified, and both pre- and postexercise training measurements of exercise tolerance, weight, and lipid profile were obtained.


Overweight and obesity (BMI > or = 25 kg/m2) were present in 88% of patients. Compared to normal weight patients, obese patients were younger and had a greater adverse risk profile (higher prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, larger waist circumference, lower exercise capacity, lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level) at entry. After 10 weeks, all groups had a significant increase in exercise capacity, and on average obese patients in each category lost weight (Class I/II--4 lbs and Class III--12 lbs). Dropout rates were similar among the groups.


Overweight and obesity are highly prevalent in cardiac rehabilitation. Overweight and obese patients had a greater adverse cardiovascular risk profile, including a lower exercise capacity in the latter. Thus, targeted interventions toward weight management in contemporary cardiac rehabilitation programs are important. Although short-term outcomes appear promising, greater efforts to improve these outcomes and to support long-term management are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center