Abstract 3403: Heart Failure Patients Improve their Exercise Capacity after Cardiac Rehabilitation Irrespective of having a Preserved or Depressed Ejection Fraction
Background: Whether exercise training reduces morbidity and mortality in heart failure (HF) patients is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine if cardiac rehabilitation (CR) outcomes differ in HF patients with and without systolic dysfunction.
Methods: We included the 152 patients completing CR from 1996 to 2006 with HF listed as the primary diagnosis or as a co-morbidity. Based on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at enrollment, we divided patients into 2 groups: those with LVEF ≥ 45% (51/152, 34%) and those with LVEF < 45% (101/152, 66%). At baseline, we compared distance, perceived exertion (Borg Scale), shortness of breath (Dyspnea Scale), and maximum heart rate (MHR) during a 6 minute walk test (MWT);self reported physical activity (total metabolic hours); depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]); and quality of life (physical component score [PCS] and mental component score [MCS] of the SF-36) between the 2 groups. Within each group, we compared changes from baseline to CR completion for each parameter. We compared differences between groups with multivariate linear regression to assess the association between LVEF classification and changes in each parameter, controlling for age, race, gender, and baseline value of the parameter.
Results: Mean age (61 vs. 62 years), race (43% vs. 43% non-white), and gender (36% vs. 37% women) were similar in the 2 groups. At baseline, both groups had similar 6 MWT values, depressive symptoms, and quality of life, although Borg scores were higher in the LVEF ≥ 45% group. At CR completion, the 2 groups showed improvement in all parameters (all p<0.05) except MHR on 6 MWT, which was unchanged in both groups. After adjusting for age, race, gender, and baseline value of each parameter, there was no difference in the magnitude of the improvement between the 2 groups (table⇓).
Conclusions: Patients with clinical heart failure symptoms, regardless of ejection fraction, benefit from exercise training.