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Int Heart J. 2016 Sep 28;57(5):553-7. doi: 10.1536/ihj.16-015. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Effect of Exercise Training on Red Blood Cell Distribution Width as a Marker of Impaired Exercise Tolerance in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease.

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Department of Cardiology, Kurume University Medical Center.


Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) can predict mortality in cardiovascular disease. However, the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial prognostic marker remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the RDW is related to impaired exercise tolerance and exercise training (ET) effect on RDW in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).Seventy-eight patients who underwent ET by supervised bicycle ergometer during 3 weeks served as the ET group whereas 30 patients who did not undergo ET were the control group. Exercise stress test with cardiopulmonary analysis was performed in the ET group. Peak oxygen uptake (from 14.1 ± 4.0 to 15.1 ± 3.8 mL/kg/minute, P < 0.05) significantly increased in the ET group. Although RDW and serum erythropoietin concentration (EP) before the observation period did not differ between the ET and control groups, RDW (from 44.4 ± 4.7 to 43.4 ± 3.8 fL, P < 0.01) and EP (from 27.9 ± 15.8 to 22.9 ± 8.2 mIU/mL, P < 0.005) significantly decreased in the ET group, however, these parameters did not change in the control group. In the ET group, RDW was negatively correlated with peak oxygen uptake (r = -0.55, P < 0.01) and the changes in RDW before and after ET were positively correlated with the changes in EP (r = 0.39, P < 0.005).Thus, ET increases exercise tolerance and decreases RDW in association with increased oxygen uptake in patients with CAD.

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