In 42 patients with chronic heart failure we evaluated left ventricular function, exercise capability and autonomic control before and 3 months after a program of cardiovascular rehabilitation. The results were analyzed separately for younger (Group 1, n=18, age 51±6 years) and older patients (Group 2, n=24, age 68±4 years), with comparable clinical characteristics and therapy. Before rehabilitation, compared to younger patients, Group 2 patients showed a lower exercise capability, a comparable left ventricular ejection fraction and similar high sympathetic activity at rest, with no response to regular breathing (= stimulation of cardiopulmonary receptors, i.e. parasympathetic challenge) and active standing (= sympathetic stimulation). After rehabilitation, in both groups a 20% improvement of exercise tolerance and aerobic performance was observed, as well as a slightly increase of left ventricular ejection fraction (about 10%), and a recovery in vagal and sympathetic responsiveness. Thus, in heart failure patients age does not hinder the favorable clinical and autonomic modulation induced by cardiovascular rehabilitation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Favourable effects of cardiovascular rehabilitation on functional capacity and autonomic balance in elderly patients with heart failure|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine