Tanaka S; Miyamoto T; Mori Y; Harada T; Tasaki H;
Heart and vessels [Heart Vessels] 2021 Mar 30. Date of Electronic Publication: 2021 Mar 30.
This study aimed to examine the factors that contribute to improvement of exercise tolerance in patients with heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) following cardiac rehabilitation. Our hypothesis is that parasympathetic values are important for recovering exercise tolerance in those patients. We included 84 consecutive patients with HF and AF (mean age: 69 ± 15 years, 80% men). All of the patients underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test and had pre and post 5 month cardiac rehabilitation assessed. After 155 ± 11 days and 44 ± 8 sessions, 73 patients (86%) showed an increase in peak oxygen uptake (VO 2 ) and VO 2 at the anaerobic threshold. In univariate linear regression analysis, the % change in heart rate recovery, plasma B-type natriuretic peptide levels, resting heart rate, and the minute ventilation /carbon dioxide output slope were significantly related to that of peak VO 2 (p < 0.01, p = 0.03, p = 0.02, p < 0.01, respectively). Stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the % change in heart rate recovery was independently related to that of peak VO 2 (p < 0.05). Our results suggest that heart rate recovery is closely associated with recovery of exercise tolerance in patients with HF and AF after CR.