Author(s): Lavie CJ, Milani RV, Cassidy MM, Gilliland YE
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Abstract Despite the well-proved benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training, older persons are frequently not referred to or vigorously encouraged to pursue this therapy after major coronary heart disease (CHD) events. Therefore, we determined the effects of this therapy on plasma lipids, indices of obesity, and exercise capacity in older CHD patients compared with the benefits obtained in a younger cohort. At baseline, the older persons had lower body mass indices (BMI), triglycerides levels, and estimated metabolic equivalent (METs), and the elderly had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Most other parameters were statistically similar in the older and younger patients. After cardiac rehabilitation, the elderly had significant improvements in METs, BMI, percent body fat, HDL-C, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/HDL-C but not in total cholesterol or LDL-C. However, improvements in all of these parameters were statistically similar in older and younger patients. We conclude that despite baseline differences, improvements in exercise capacity, obesity indices, and lipid levels were statistically similar in older and younger patients enrolled in formal, phase II, cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training programs. Therefore, our data emphasized that the elderly should not be categorically denied the benefits of vigorous secondary CHD prevention, including formal cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training programs.
This article was published in Am J Geriatr Cardiol
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation