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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1990 Sep;48(3):325-32.

Exercise capacity and quality of life in the treatment of heart failure.

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Cardiac Research Unit, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough.


In a double-blind study comparing two active treatments (digoxin and xamoterol) and placebo in patients with heart failure, improvements in exercise capacity and quality of life were observed in all three groups, with no significant differences. The substantial benefits seen in the placebo group were probably the result of increased attention from the medical and research staff and suggest the therapeutic value of special heart failure clinics. The relationship between exercise and symptomatic/functional status has been unclear. We developed quantitative measures of quality-of-life variables and examined their relationship with exercise capacity. There were significant relationships between change in exercise duration and changes in breathlessness, tiredness, chest pain, walking difficulty, rate of walking, difficulty with daily tasks, speed of daily tasks, mood, and sleeping. This study confirms the validity of measuring change in exercise capacity and demonstrates that specific measurements of quality of life make an important contribution to the evaluation of the treatment of heart failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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