Effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation in heart failure

As in the case of coronary heart disease (CHD), there is not a single research that is sufficiently powerful to judge the effect of physical training (TF) on survival rates in patients with HF. The HF-ACTION study (Heart Failure and a Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training), funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to study the effect of PT on heart morbidity and mortality in patients with systolic dysfunction.

The study included 3 thousand patients randomly assigned to the TF group and a group of patients who were recommended to participate in the cardiac rehabilitation program.

Meta-analysis confirms the positive effects of physical training (PT) in heart failure (HF). Smart N. and Marwick T.N. analyzed the results of 81 studies in which 2387 patients with HF were included. In trained patients, VO2 increased by 16%.

The same results were obtained in 622 trained patients and 575 patients from the control group. The overall frequency of adverse outcomes over 5.9 months of follow-up in the training and control groups did not differ. At the same time, in the FT group there were 29% less deaths (p = 0.06).

These results indicate that physical training not only increases physical performance, but can also reduce heart mortality in patients with systolic heart failure. However, final conclusions can be made after completing the HF-ACTION study.

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