Favourable effects of cardiovascular rehabilitation on funcional capacity and autonomic balance in elderly patients with heart failure

https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2005.593

Authors

  • Gabriella Malfatto | malfi@auxologico.it Divisione di Riabilitazione Cardiologica, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milano, Italy.
  • Giovanna Branzi Divisione di Riabilitazione Cardiologica, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milano, Italy.
  • Caterina Bizzi Divisione di Riabilitazione Cardiologica, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milano, Italy.
  • Paola Valli Divisione di Riabilitazione Cardiologica, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milano, Italy.
  • Mario Facchini Divisione di Riabilitazione Cardiologica, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milano, Italy.

Abstract

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.

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Published
2005-06-30
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Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
heart failure, aging, cardiovascular rehabilitation, autonomic nervous system, power spectral analysis, heart rate variability
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How to Cite
Malfatto, Gabriella, Giovanna Branzi, Caterina Bizzi, Paola Valli, and Mario Facchini. 2005. “Favourable Effects of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation on Funcional Capacity and Autonomic Balance in Elderly Patients With Heart Failure”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 64 (2). https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2005.593.

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