Postacute rehabilitation after coronary surgery: The effect of preoperative physical activity on the incidence of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

Marzia Giaccardi, Claudio MacChi, Andrea Colella, Paola Polcaro, Renato Zipoli, Francesca Cecchi, Debora Valecchi, Francesco Sofi, Mario Petrilli, Raffaele Molino-Lova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) is a frequent complication after cardiac surgery. AF may also occur after hospital discharge during postacute rehabilitation. Several studies have addressed the AF that occurs in the hospital after surgery, and predictors have already been identified. Postoperative AF that occurs after hospital discharge has not been investigated thoroughly, and predictors are still unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that moderate-intensity physical activity in the year before surgery might favorably affect the incidence of AF during postacute rehabilitation. Design: We tested our hypothesis in a cohort of 158 older patients admitted to a medical rehabilitation facility for postacute inpatient rehabilitation after coronary surgery and continuously monitored by telemetry for the duration of the rehabilitation. Results: Independent of potential confounders, patients who reported low-intensity physical activity in the year before surgery showed a significantly higher incidence of AF during postacute rehabilitation when compared with those who reported moderate-intensity physical activity (32.1% vs. 8.1%; P = 0.029). Other independent predictors of AF during postacute rehabilitation were the occurrence of AF during the patients' stay in hospital, larger left atrial volume, and lower left atrial emptying fraction. Conclusions: These findings confirm our hypothesis that physical activity in the year before surgery affects the incidence of postoperative AF during postacute rehabilitation. The results also provide information regarding possible predictors that may assist in identifying patients who could benefit from preventive treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume90
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Older Persons
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)

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