Low-Intensity Exercise Appears Safe for Pulmonary Hypertension
Meta-analysis of supervised exercise programs with lower levels of intensity.
(HealthDay News) -- Exercise has a positive effect on several measures of heart function as well as overall quality of life for patients with pulmonary hypertension, according to research published recently in Circulation: Heart Failure.
Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas analyzed studies that included 434 exercise-training participants with pulmonary hypertension. Most patients in the analysis were in supervised exercise programs that had lower levels of intensity than those typically prescribed for heart failure patients.
The researchers found that exercise training was associated with significant improvement in 6-minute walk distance, peak oxygen uptake, resting pulmonary arterial systolic pressure, peak exercise heart rate, and quality of life as measured on Short Form-36 questionnaire subscale scores. The exercise training was well tolerated and had a low dropout rate. No major adverse events related to the training were reported.
"Clinicians have traditionally been skeptical about prescribing exercise for patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension due to concerns that training might put further strain on the heart," study author Jarett Berry, M.D., a professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said in a university news release. "Our analysis found those concerns may be misplaced. More importantly, exercise had a positive effect on several measures of heart function as well as overall quality of life."