ABSTRACT: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) is a frequent complication after cardiac surgery. AF may also occur after hospital discharge during postacute rehabilitation. Several studies have addressed the AF that occurs in the hospital after surgery, and predictors have already been identified. Postoperative AF that occurs after hospital discharge has not been investigated thoroughly, and predictors are still unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that moderate-intensity physical activity in the year before surgery might favorably affect the incidence of AF during postacute rehabilitation.
We tested our hypothesis in a cohort of 158 older patients admitted to a medical rehabilitation facility for postacute inpatient rehabilitation after coronary surgery and continuously monitored by telemetry for the duration of the rehabilitation.
Independent of potential confounders, patients who reported low-intensity physical activity in the year before surgery showed a significantly higher incidence of AF during postacute rehabilitation when compared with those who reported moderate-intensity physical activity (32.1% vs. 8.1%; P = 0.029). Other independent predictors of AF during postacute rehabilitation were the occurrence of AF during the patients' stay in hospital, larger left atrial volume, and lower left atrial emptying fraction.
These findings confirm our hypothesis that physical activity in the year before surgery affects the incidence of postoperative AF during postacute rehabilitation. The results also provide information regarding possible predictors that may assist in identifying patients who could benefit from preventive treatments.
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 04/2011; 90(4):308-15. · 1.56 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Older patients who receive postacute cardiac rehabilitation improve their physical performance in terms of distance walked at the 6-min walk test. However, the slower and more complicated recovery, along with age-related chronic comorbidities, remarkably limits the intensity of aerobic training, which actually represents the core of cardiac rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to verify whether postacute cardiac rehabilitation also improves the cardiovascular adjustment to exercise, despite low-intensity aerobic training.
Using a portable gas analyzer, we assessed the O(2) uptake kinetics during the 6-min walk test at the beginning and at the end of the rehabilitation in 84 patients aged 65 yrs and above.
All patients significantly improved the distance walked at the 6-min walk test. The comparison of the time constants of O(2) uptake kinetics showed that 40% of patients also significantly improved the hemodynamic response to exercise. This improvement was independently associated with the report of sedentary lifestyle or low-intensity physical activity in the year before surgery and with longer time constants before physical training.
Low-intensity aerobic training improves the cardiovascular adjustment to exercise selectively in patients with physical deconditioning. This confirms the notion that elderly frail patients are those who benefit most from cardiac rehabilitation.
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 12/2010; 89(12):953-60. · 1.56 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Promoting an active lifestyle through an appropriate physical exercise prescription is one of the major targets of cardiac rehabilitation. However, information on the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation in promoting lifestyle changes in elderly patients is still scant.
In 131 patients over the age of 65 yrs (86 men, and 45 women, mean age 75 yrs +/- 6 SD) who have attended postacute inpatient cardiac rehabilitation after cardiac surgery, we tested the 1-yr adherence to the physical exercise prescription received at the end of the cardiac rehabilitation by using a questionnaire on physical activity and the 6-min walk test.
All of the 36 patients who reported an active lifestyle and 49 of the 95 patients who reported a sedentary lifestyle in the year preceding the cardiac operation reported at least 1 hr/day on 5 days each week of light regular physical activity in the year after the cardiac rehabilitation. Further, the distance walked at the follow-up 6-min walk test was significantly related to the physical activity score gathered from the questionnaire.
Our data show that 65% of the elderly patients who have attended postacute inpatient cardiac rehabilitation after cardiac surgery are still capable of recovering or even increasing their regular physical activity and of maintaining these favorable lifestyle changes at least for 1 yr.
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 10/2009; 88(9):727-34. · 1.56 Impact Factor