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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1994 May;75(5):551-4.

Training after myocardial infarction: lack of long-term effects on physical capacity and psychological variables.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Lund University Hospital, Sweden.


This study evaluated long-term effects of 12 weeks of supervised training, of at least 45 minutes duration with two sessions per week, on physical performance and psychological well-being after myocardial infarction (MI). Sixty-nine patients were randomized to either an exercise or a nonexercise group. Maximum exercise capacity 6 weeks post-MI was inversely related to the acute peak aspartate aminotransferase values in serum, as an index of infarct size. One year post-MI, the increase in level of fitness (10%) in the training group did not significantly exceed (p = .10) that of the controls (2%). No intergroup differences were registered in self-rated psychological well-being and physical scores or in the return to work rate. In the training group, but not in the controls, the change in perceived dyspnoea at leisure-time activities was positively related to the objectively measured peak exercise capacity. We conclude that after MI only marginal improvements in physical performance are achieved 6 months after training is finished, with no long-term psychological benefits apparent versus a usual care program. The adaptive implications of supervised conventional exercise programs post-MI are therefore questioned.

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