Author(s): Marchionni N, Fattirolli F, Fumagalli S, Oldridge N, Del Lungo F,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Whether cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is effective in patients older than 75 years, who have been excluded from most trials, remains unclear. We enrolled patients 46 to 86 years old in a randomized trial and assessed the effects of 2 months of post-myocardial infarction (MI) CR on total work capacity (TWC, in kilograms per meter) and health-related quality of life (HRQL). METHODS AND RESULTS: Of 773 screened patients, 270 without cardiac failure, dementia, disability, or contraindications to exercise were randomized to outpatient, hospital-based CR (Hosp-CR), home-based CR (Home-CR), or no CR within 3 predefined age groups (middle-aged, 45 to 65 years; old, 66 to 75 years; and very old, >75 years) of 90 patients each. TWC and HRQL were determined with cycle ergometry and Sickness Impact Profile at baseline, after CR, and 6 and 12 months later. Within each age group, TWC improved with Hosp-CR and Home-CR and was unchanged with no CR. The improvement was similar in middle-aged and old persons but smaller, although still significant, in very old patients. TWC reverted toward baseline by 12 months with Hosp-CR but not with Home-CR. HRQL improved in middle-aged and old CR and control patients but only with CR in very old patients. Complications were similar across treatment and age groups. Costs were lower for Home-CR than for Hosp-CR. CONCLUSIONS: Post-MI Hosp-CR and Home-CR are similarly effective in the short term and improve TWC and HRQL in each age group. However, with lower costs and more prolonged positive effects, Home-CR may be the treatment of choice in low-risk older patients.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation