Abstract 3794: Long-term Effects Of An Aerobic Training Program On Exercise Tolerance And Quality Of Life In Patients With Chronic Heart Failure. A Randomised Controlled Trial
Introduction: Exercise training has been shown to improve exercise tolerance (ET) and quality of life (QoL) in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). However, the long-term effects of training programs are very spare. We hypothesized that a 4 months group-based aerobic interval-training program would improve ET and QoL in patients with CHF, and after follow-up without supervised exercise training.
Methods: Eighty consecutive patients with stable CHF (mean age 70 ± 7.9 years, 63 males), in New York Heart Association-class II-IIIB were randomized to training (n=40) and control (n=40). The ejection fraction was 30.2 % ± 7.6 in the training group and 30.8% ± 9.4 in the control group. All were on optimal medical treatment (93% on beta-blockers and 98% on ACEI inhibitors or A2 receptor blockers at baseline). The training group exercised in a group-based aerobic interval-training model for 50 min, two times a week for 16 weeks. For the next 8 months they only got individual advices to exercise on their own. During the exercise period the patients had 4 consultations with a CHF nurse, including diatory advices, medication adherences, symptom monitoring and social support. In the follow-up period, the patients had 2 consultations with a CHF nurse. The control group received standard medical treatment without additional exercise training. The effects were evaluated by: bicycle ergometer test; 6-minute walk test and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire.
Results: After 4 months, both exercise time (+19.2%, p=0.001), workload (+14%, p=0.001) and walking distance (+18%, p<0.001) had increased significantly in the exercise group without any change in the control group. QoL showed a significant improvement (p<0.05), with a mean difference of -12.1 points in the exercise group and no difference in the control group. After 12 months the differences were still significant for all parameters (exercise time, +19.8%, p=0.003, work load; +16%, p=0.001, walking distance; +17%, p<0.001) and QoL with a mean difference of -11.7 points in the exercise group and +5.2 in the control group, p=0.002.
Conclusions: Our results support the implementation of a group-based aerobic interval-training program, to improve both ET and QoL in patients with CHF.