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The Effect of Cardiac Rehabilitation Programmes on Obesity

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The aims of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programmes have changed from improving fitness levels after prolonged bed rest and post-cardiac event deconditioning to take on a holistic approach in addressing cardiovascular risk factors (CRFs) (Savage et al., 2002). Obesity is a highly prevalent independent and modifiable CRF in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Four studies evaluating the value of CR in reducing obesity and its associated risks have been reviewed in a chronological order below.
Standard CR exercise intervention was examined in a retrospective study conducted by Lavie and Milani (1997) on 588 coronary patients not on lipid-lowering medication from two institutions to determine the effects of CR and weight reduction on exercise capacity and CRFs in obese coronary patients. In this study, 235 patients were allocated to the obese (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 27.3kg/m2 in women and ≥ 27.8kg/m2 in men) and 353 to the non-obese group. Within the obese group, 45 patients who had ≥5% weight reduction were compared to 81 who did not. All subjects underwent 36 sessions of outpatient phase II CR for approximately three months and received dietary and exercise advice. Exercise training was prescribed between 70-85% of the maximal heart rate determined during pre-intervention exercise testing or 10-15 beats/min below exercise-induced symptomatic or silent myocardial ischemia. Body weight, skinfold-determined percentage body fat, BMI, plasma lipids, fasting glucose and estimated exercise capacity were assessed as outcome measures three to eight weeks after a major coronary event and one week post-completion of CR.`
Obese patients had significantly greater reduction in BMI and weight but less improvement in exercise capacity th...

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...ve in the long-term.

Works Cited

Lavie, C., & Milani, R. (1997). Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Exercise Training, and Weight Reduction on Exercise Capacity, Coronary Risk Factors, Behavioural Characteristics and Quality of Life in Obese Coronary Patients. American Journal of Cardiology, 79:397-401.
Savage, P., Brochu, M., Poehlman, E., & Ades, P. (2003). Reduction in Obesity and Coronary Risk Factors After High Caloric Exercise Training in Overweight Coronary Patients. American Heart Journal, 146:317-23.
Savage, P., Lee, M., Harvey-Berino, J., Brochu, M., & Ades, P. (2002). Weight Reduction in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Setting. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 22:154-160.
Shubair, M., Kodis, J., McKelvie, R., Arthur, H., & Sharma, A. (2004). Metabolic Profile and Exercise Capacity Outcomes. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 24:405-413.
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