Exercise training has therapeutic value in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Short-term exercise training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation: effects on exercise capacity, AV conduction, and quality of life.
J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2006 Jan-Feb;26(1):24-9. PMID: 16617223
PURPOSE: A randomized study was conducted to determine whether short-term exercise training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) might improve exercise capacity and quality of life (QOL), and influence atrioventricular conduction. METHODS: Atrial fibrillation patients (age 64 +/- 7 years) were randomized to exercise training (n = 15) or a 2-month control period (n = 15) followed by the training program. Twenty-four training sessions consisted of aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening. A cycle ergometer test and a 15-minute resting high-frequency spectral electrocardiogram analysis were performed and a QOL questionnaire (SF-36) was completed before and after training. Because there were no changes after 2 months in the control group, pooled data for all patients are presented before and after training. RESULTS: Cumulated work at Borg scale 17 increased by 41% +/- 36%. Heart rate at rest and after 10 minutes of exercise decreased from 75 +/- 14 to 68 +/- 14 bpm and 145 +/- 19 to 137 +/- 21 bpm, respectively. HF increased from 81 +/- 17 to 91 +/- 22 milliseconds. Four of the 8 scales and 1 of the 2 summary scales of the Short-Form-36 improved. P <.05 for all results. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise capacity, heart rate variability, and QOL improved after 2 months of exercise training in patients with chronic AF. Heart rates at rest and during exercise decreased.