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Exercise Further Benefits Heart Patients With Pacemaker

Structured exercise program improves function and quality of life

TUESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic heart failure patients who receive a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device improve even further if they undergo an exercise training program, according to a study in the June 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Ashish Y. Patwala, from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 50 patients referred for CRT to a structured physician-supervised exercise training program or conventional therapy, three months after CRT device implant.

After three months of CRT, the researchers observed significant improvements in all functional, exercise hemodynamic, and echocardiographic measures. After three months of exercise training, patients showed further significant improvements in functional, exercise hemodynamic, and quality of life measures (New York Heart Association functional class, exercise time, peak oxygen consumption, peak cardiac power output, cardiac reserve, respiratory exchange ratio, and Minnesota Living With Heart Failure score) compared with patients who received conventional therapy.

"Exercise training leads to further improvements in exercise capacity, hemodynamic measures, and quality of life in addition to the improvements seen after CRT," Patwala and colleagues conclude. "Therefore, exercise training allows maximal benefit to be attained after CRT."

Authors of the study reported a relationship with pacemaker manufacturers, Medtronic and Boston Scientific.

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