Effects of exercise training on exercise capacity, cardiac function, BMI, and quality of life in patients with atrial fibrillation: a meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials

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Abstract

Exercise training has become part of the standard care for patients with cardiovascular disease. We investigated the effects of exercise training on exercise capacity, cardiac function, BMI, and quality of life in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We searched for randomized-controlled trials of supervised exercise training versus care without exercise training (the control) in patients with permanent or nonpermanent AF published up to November 2016. Standard mean differences (SMD) or mean differences (MD), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random-effect models. We identified 259 trials, and after an assessment of relevance, five trials with a combined total of 379 participants were analyzed. In AF patients, exercise training significantly improved exercise capacity and left ventricular ejection fraction compared with the control (SMD: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.12; MD: 4.8%, 95% CIs: 1.56 to 8.03, respectively). Compared with the control, exercise training also significantly reduced BMI (MD: −0.47 kg/m2, 95% CIs: −0.89 to −0.06) and significantly improved scores in the ‘general health’ and ‘vitality’ sections of the 36-item Short Form Health Status Survey (SMD: 0.71, 95% CIs: 0.30 to 1.12; SMD: 0.81, 95% CIs: 0.40 to 1.23, respectively). Exercise training improved exercise capacity, left ventricular ejection fraction, and some the 36-item Short Form Health Status Survey scores, and reduced BMI in AF patients.

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