do Nascimento DM; Machado KC; Bock PM; Saffi MAL; Goldraich LA; Silveira AD; Clausell N; Schaan BD;
BMC cardiovascular disorders [BMC Cardiovasc Disord] 2023 Jul 29; Vol. 23 (1), pp. 381.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Jul 29.
Background: Functional training may be an effective non-pharmacological therapy for heart failure (HF). This study aimed to compare the effects of functional training with strength training on peak VO 2 and quality of life in individuals with HF.
Methods: A randomized, parallel-design and examiner-blinded controlled clinical trial with concealed allocation, intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses. Twenty-seven participants with chronic HF were randomly allocated to functional or strength training group, to perform a 12-week physical training, three times per week, totalizing 36 sessions. Primary outcomes were the difference on peak VO 2 and quality of life assessed by cardiopulmonary exercise testing and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, respectively. Secondary outcomes included functionality assessed by the Duke Activity Status Index and gait speed test, peripheral and inspiratory muscular strength, assessed by hand grip and manovacuometry testing, respectively, endothelial function by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, and lean body mass by arm muscle circumference.
Results: Participants were aged 60 ± 7 years, with left ventricular ejection fraction 29 ± 8.5%. The functional and strength training groups showed the following results, respectively: peak VO 2 increased by 1.4 ± 3.2 (16.9 ± 2.9 to 18.6 ± 4.8 mL.kg -1 .min -1 ; p time = 0.011) and 1.5 ± 2.5 mL.kg -1 .min -1 (16.8 ± 4.0 to 18.6 ± 5.5 mL.kg -1 .min -1 ; p time = 0.011), and quality of life score decreased by 14 ± 15 (25.8 ± 14.8 to 10.3 ± 7.8 points; p time = 0.001) and 12 ± 28 points (33.8 ± 23.8 to 19.0 ± 15.1 points; p time = 0.001), but no difference was observed between groups (peak VO 2 : p interaction = 0.921 and quality of life: p interaction = 0.921). The functional and strength training increased the activity status index by 6.5 ± 12 and 5.2 ± 13 points (p time = 0.001), respectively, and gait speed by 0.2 ± 0.3 m/s (p time = 0.002) in both groups.
Conclusions: Functional and strength training are equally effective in improving peak VO 2 , quality of life, and functionality in individuals with HF. These findings suggest that functional training may be a promising and innovative exercise-based strategy to treat HF.