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J Clin Med. 2019 Mar 5;8(3). pii: E310. doi: 10.3390/jcm8030310.

Age-Related Improvements in Peak Cardiorespiratory Fitness among Coronary Heart Disease Patients Following Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Author information

1
Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M4G 1R7, Canada. laura.banks@uhn.ca.
2
Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M4G 1R7, Canada. josephcacoilo@gmail.com.
3
Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M4G 1R7, Canada. jasmine.carter@mail.utoronto.ca.
4
Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M4G 1R7, Canada. paul.oh@uhn.ca.

Abstract

While cardiorespiratory fitness (VO₂peak) can be improved with exercise and training, it is unclear whether older age is associated with an attenuated VO₂peak improvement among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who complete a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program. A retrospective review of patient demographics and VO₂peak data from January 2012 to December 2017 was performed. CAD patients were included if they had successfully completed the supervised 6-month CR program (>75% of exercise prescription) and two VO₂peak assessments (respiratory exchange ratio (RER) >1.0). Among all patients, there was an improvement in VO₂peak from 21.1 ± 6.3 mL/kg/min to 26.5 ± 7.9 mL/kg/min (+26% ΔVO₂peak). Patients in the younger age category (age category 1: 30⁻39 years old) tended to have a greater percent of relative VO₂peak improvement when compared to all other age categories (e.g., adults 50 years of age and older). In the regression analysis, VO₂peak improvement was associated with younger age (β = -0.286, p < 0.0001), after adjustment for the baseline VO₂peak (β = -0.456, p < 0.0001), final prescribed exercise speed at CR program completion (β = 0.254, p < 0.0001), body mass index (β = -0.172, p < 0.0001), and male sex (β = 0.153, p < 0.0001). Nonetheless, the study findings indicate that older adults who complete CR may be able to obtain clinically relevant improvements in VO₂peak of greater than 20%, and therefore, should be referred for CR.

KEYWORDS:

aerobic exercise; aging; cardiovascular disease; exercise testing

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