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Am Heart J. 1991 Nov;122(5):1423-31.

The prognostic value of exercise capacity: a review of the literature.

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Cardiology Section, Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center, CA 90822.


While there is still much debate in the literature regarding the specific MET levels at which there are differences in survival, the following points have become clear with the growing body of reports in the literature. Exercise capacity seems to be an independent predictor of mortality, and when it is combined with other clinical, exercise, or angiographic data, it becomes very powerful in this regard. This relates to both overall mortality and to that from cardiovascular disease. There is still a need for the establishment of mortality data related to MET levels adjusted for age and activity status. A low exercise capacity of less than 6 METs indicates a higher mortality group, probably regardless of the underlying extent of coronary disease or left ventricular function. Analysis of the CASS data has indicated that these patients benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery with respect to survival. An exercise capacity of greater than 10 METs designates an excellent survival group, again despite the extent of coronary artery disease or left ventricular function. If 10 METs truly exerts a "protective effect" that obviates any survival benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery, this has enormous implications for cost containment and medical care. It is nonetheless important to remember that this level of exercise capacity does not imply the absence of either coronary disease or triple-vessel coronary disease. Exercise capacity is related to more than just cardiovascular fitness and integrity. It is dependent upon a combination of other physiologic components as well, including pulmonary function, health status of other organ systems, nitrogen balance, nutritional status, medications, orthopedic limitations, and others.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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