• Aerobic fitness and cardiovascular health profile two years after completion of cardiac rehabilitation

      Buckley, John P.; Padmore, Stephen (University of Chester, 2011-09)
      The aim of this dissertation was to evaluate the impact of a 12 week hospital-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programme on long-term aerobic fitness and cardiovascular health two years after completion. Nineteen male and five female participants (mean age 65 years + 2 years) who had completed the CR programme, were randomly recruited to the study. 15 (63%) participants had a diagnosis of MI, 4 (17%) had undergone PCI and 5 (21%) had undergone CABG. The study was a repeated measures design. Participants performed three sub-maximal exercise tests (up to 75% HRmax and/or RPE 12/13) on a cycle ergometer to assess aerobic fitness (determined by work rate in watts and METs achieved) at baseline, end of CR and at two year follow-up. Secondary measures for cardiovascular health profile (including body anthropometrics, HADS score) were also examined. A one-way (Repeated Measures) ANOVA and the Friedman test examined differences at baseline, end of the programme and at two year follow-up. Compared to baseline aerobic fitness improved significantly at the end of CR (p = 0.0005) and at two years (p=0.0005). At two years there was no significant difference in work-rate (p=0.41) or METs achieved (p=0.63) compared to levels at the end of CR, indicating that participants maintained their aerobic fitness. The mean work-rate achieved by participants was 56.9 (+4.0) watts at baseline, 78.8 (+5.5) watts at the end of CR, and 76.8 (+5.2) watts at two years. Median METs achieved were 4.3 METs (IQR = 0.9) at baseline, 5.2 METs (IQR = 1.4) at the end of CR and 5.2 METs (IQR = 1.7) at two years. A 12 week CR programme can lead to positive health behaviours, an improvement in participant’s aerobic fitness and aspects of their cardiovascular health profile, which is maintained two years following completion.