Regular exercise is highly beneficial for all patients with cardiovascular disease regardless of age, a new study has said, adding that patients who benefited most from cardiac rehabilitation were those who started out with the greatest physical impairment.
Ageing is associated with several factors such as increased inflammation or oxidative stress that predispose people to cardiovascular diseases."As a result, elderly patients are usually less fit than their younger counterparts, and deconditioning is accelerated once cardiovascular disease is established," explained lead investigator Gaelle Deley from University of Burgundy Franche-Comt in France.
However, there is few data available about the impact of patient age on the physical and psychological effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation, said the study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
In the new study, investigators examined 733 patients who completed a 25-session cardiac rehabilitation programme.
Following the intervention, all patients experienced improvements.
"We found a few weeks of exercise training not only significantly improved exercise capacity, but also decreased anxiety and depression. Patients with the greatest physical impairments at baseline benefited the most from exercise," said Dr Deley.
Another interesting result was that patients younger than 65 who were very anxious before rehabilitation benefited the most from exercise training.A similar result was found for depressed patients older than 65.
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death globally. While cardiovascular diseases increasingly affect young people, the number of people above the age of 65 years, and even more above the age of 80 years, dying from cardiovascular diseases is also increasing.