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      Cardiac Rehabilitation: Preliminary Results

      , MD, MACC , 1 , , MD 1 , , MS, CSCS, CSPS 1

      Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications


      cardiac rehab, depression, exercise

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          We have always thought that patients with cardiac disease are depressed and anxious. The plan for cardiac rehab begins with exercise 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Patients are usually elderly. Typical patients are 60+ years old, inactive but stable, smoke cigarettes, are stressed, hypertensive, and anxious. After several visits the staff for the program report that patients are confident with decreased anxiety and improved exercise ability. Challenges for a rehab program are parking, education and frailness. At present we have no data on outcome (mortality, morbidity) but most measurements are improved after rehab. Outcome data after discharge for rehab program must be obtained.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Effects of exercise training on depressive symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure: the HF-ACTION randomized trial.

          Depression is common in patients with cardiac disease, especially in patients with heart failure, and is associated with increased risk of adverse health outcomes. Some evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may reduce depressive symptoms, but to our knowledge the effects of exercise on depression in patients with heart failure have not been evaluated. To determine whether exercise training will result in greater improvements in depressive symptoms compared with usual care among patients with heart failure. Multicenter, randomized controlled trial involving 2322 stable patients treated for heart failure at 82 medical clinical centers in the United States, Canada, and France. Patients who had a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or lower, had New York Heart Association class I to IV heart failure, and had completed the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) score were randomized (1:1) between April 2003 and February 2007. Depressive scores ranged from 0 to 59; scores of 14 or higher are considered clinically significant. Participants were randomized either to supervised aerobic exercise (goal of 90 min/wk for months 1-3 followed by home exercise with a goal of ≥120 min/wk for months 4-12) or to education and usual guideline-based heart failure care. Composite of death or hospitalization due to any cause and scores on the BDI-II at months 3 and 12. Over a median follow-up period of 30 months, 789 patients (68%) died or were hospitalized in the usual care group compared with 759 (66%) in the aerobic exercise group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81 to 0.99; P = .03). The median BDI-II score at study entry was 8, with 28% of the sample having BDI-II scores of 14 or higher. Compared with usual care, aerobic exercise resulted in lower mean BDI-II scores at 3 months (aerobic exercise, 8.95; 95% CI, 8.61 to 9.29 vs usual care, 9.70; 95% CI, 9.34 to 10.06; difference, -0.76; 95% CI,-1.22 to -0.29; P = .002) and at 12 months (aerobic exercise, 8.86; 95% CI, 8.67 to 9.24 vs usual care, 9.54; 95% CI, 9.15 to 9.92; difference, -0.68; 95% CI, -1.20 to -0.16; P = .01). Compared with guideline-based usual care, exercise training resulted in a modest reduction in depressive symptoms, although the clinical significance of this improvement is unknown. Identifier: NCT00047437.
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            Benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training in secondary coronary prevention in the elderly.

            The aim of this study was to determine the effects of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training on plasma lipids, indexes of obesity and exercise capacity in the elderly and to compare the benefits in elderly patients with coronary heart disease with benefits in a younger cohort. Despite the well proved benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training, elderly patients with coronary heart disease are frequently not referred or vigorously encouraged to pursue this therapy. In addition, only limited data are available for these elderly patients on the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation on plasma lipids, indexes of obesity and exercise capacity. At two large multispecialty teaching institutions, baseline and post-rehabilitation data including plasma lipids, indexes of obesity and exercise capacity were compared in 92 elderly patients (> or = 65 years, mean age 70.1 +/- 4.1 years) and 182 younger patients (< 65 years, mean 53.9 +/- 7.4 years) enrolled in phase II cardiac rehabilitation and exercise programs after a major cardiac event. At baseline, body mass index (26.0 +/- 3.9 vs. 27.8 +/- 4.2 kg/m2, p < 0.001), triglycerides (141 +/- 55 vs. 178 +/- 105 mg/dl, p < 0.01) and estimated metabolic equivalents (METs) (5.6 +/- 1.6 vs. 7.7 +/- 3.0, p < 0.0001) were lower and high density lipoprotein cholesterol was greater (40.4 +/- 12.1 vs. 37.5 +/- 10.4 mg/dl, p < 0.05) in the elderly than in younger patients. After rehabilitation, the elderly demonstrated significant improvements in METs (5.6 +/- 1.6 vs. 7.5 +/- 2.3, p < 0.0001), body mass index (26.0 +/- 3.9 vs. 25.6 +/- 3.8 kg/m2, p < 0.01), percent body fat (24.4 +/- 7.0 vs. 22.9 +/- 7.2%, p < 0.0001), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (40.4 +/- 12.1 vs. 43.0 +/- 11.4 mg/dl, p < 0.001) and the ratio of low density to high density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.6 +/- 1.3 vs. 3.3 +/- 1.0, p < 0.01) and a decrease in triglycerides that approached statistical significance (141 +/- 55 vs. 130 +/- 76 mg/dl, p = 0.14) but not in total cholesterol or low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Improvements in functional capacity, percent body fat and body mass index, as well as lipids, were statistically similar in the older and younger patients. Despite baseline differences, improvements in exercise capacity, obesity indexes and lipids were very similar in older and younger patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training. These data emphasize that elderly patients should not be categorically denied the psychosocial, physical and risk factor benefits of secondary coronary prevention including formal cardiac rehabilitation and supervised exercise training.
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              Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Disease

              Facets of positive psychological well-being, such as optimism, have been identified as positive health assets because they are prospectively associated with the 7 metrics of cardiovascular health (CVH) and improved outcomes related to cardiovascular disease. Connections between psychological well-being and cardiovascular conditions may be mediated through biological, behavioral, and psychosocial pathways. Individual-level interventions, such as mindfulness-based programs and positive psychological interventions, have shown promise for modifying psychological well-being. Further, workplaces are using well-being-focused interventions to promote employee CVH, and these interventions represent a potential model for expanding psychological well-being programs to communities and societies. Given the relevance of psychological well-being to promoting CVH, this review outlines clinical recommendations to assess and promote well-being in encounters with patients. Finally, a research agenda is proposed. Additional prospective observational studies are needed to understand mechanisms underlying the connection between psychological well-being and cardiovascular outcomes. Moreover, rigorous intervention trials are needed to assess whether psychological well-being-promoting programs can improve cardiovascular outcomes.

                Author and article information

                Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                July 2019
                August 2019
                : 4
                : 2
                : 121-123
                1University of Florida Medical School, Gainesville, FL, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: C. Richard Conti, MD, MACC, University of Florida Medical School, Gainesville, FL, USA, E-mail: conticr@
                Copyright © 2019 Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See



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