Role and efficacy of cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart failure

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Maria Teresa La Rovere *
Egidio Traversi
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maria Teresa La Rovere |


Despite improvements in treatments, the prognosis of heart failure remains poor. Elderly patients with heart failure are burdened with multiple co-morbidities and polypharmacy. Multidisciplinary disease-management programs are recommended as standard care for patients at high risk of hospitalization. Cardiac rehabilitation is defined a coordinated multidimensional intervention that integrates the basic elements in multidisciplinary management programs with a continuing program of physical activity and exercise training. Cardiac rehabilitation services can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis according to the clinical characteristics and severity of the disease. Data support the usefulness of inpatient cardiac rehabilitation interventions soon after hospitalization for acute decompensated heart failure as a “transition care service” to overcome the particularly high risk “vulnerable” phase. Although in the elderly, physical activity is conditioned by the general clinical conditions, the presence of comorbidities and frailty, several data underscore the importance of improving exercise capacity in the elderly vulnerable patient.

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