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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 12;168(5):4685-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.07.177. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Physical activity is associated with improved aerobic exercise capacity over time in adults with congenital heart disease.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital. This author takes responsibility for all aspects of the reliability and freedom from bias of the data presented and their discussed interpretation.
2
Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital. This author takes responsibility for all aspects of the reliability and freedom from bias of the data presented and their discussed interpretation.
3
Heart Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. This author takes responsibility for all aspects of the reliability and freedom from bias of the data presented and their discussed interpretation.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Impaired exercise capacity is common in adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). This impairment is progressive and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We studied the influence of the frequency of at least moderately strenuous physical activity (PhysAct) on changes in exercise capacity of ACHD patients over time.

METHODS:

We studied ACHD patients ≥21 years old who had repeated maximal (RER≥1.09) cardiopulmonary exercise tests within 6 to 24 months. On the basis of data extracted from each patient's clinical records, PhysAct frequency was classified as (1) Low: minimal PhysAct, (2) Occasional: moderate PhysAct <2 times/week, or (3) Frequent: moderate PhysAct ≥2 times/week.

RESULTS:

PhysAct frequency could be classified for 146 patients. Those who participated in frequent exercise tended to have improved pVO2 (∆pVO2=+1.63±2.67 ml/kg/min) compared to those who had low or occasional activity frequency (∆pVO2=+0.06±2.13 ml/kg/min, p=0.003) over a median follow-up of 13.2 months. This difference was independent of baseline clinical characteristics, time between tests, medication changes, or weight change. Those who engaged in frequent PhysAct were more likely to have an increase of pVO2 of ≥1SD between tests as compared with sedentary patients (multivariable OR=7.4, 95%CI 1.5-35.7). Aerobic exercise capacity also increased for patients who increased activity frequency from baseline to follow-up; 27.3% of those who increased their frequency of moderately strenuous physical activity had a clinically significant (at least +1SD) increase in pVO2 compared to only 11% of those who maintained or decreased activity frequency.

CONCLUSIONS:

ACHD patients who engage in frequent physical activity tend to have improved exercise capacity over time.

KEYWORDS:

Adults; Congenital heart disease; Exercise capacity and physical activity

PMID:
23962775
PMCID:
PMC3809326
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.07.177
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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