Aerobic exercise training and general health status in ambulatory heart failure patients with a reduced ejection fraction—Findings from the Heart Failure and A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training (HF-ACTION)trial

Andrew P. Ambrosy, Lukasz P. Cerbin, Adam D. DeVore, Stephen J. Greene, William E. Kraus, Christopher M. O'Connor, Ileana L. Pina, David J. Whellan, Daniel Wojdyla, Angie Wu, Robert J. Mentz

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Background Although aerobic exercise improves quality of life as assessed by a disease-specific instrument in ambulatory HF patients with a reduced ejection fraction (EF), the impact of an exercise intervention on general health status has not been previously reported. Methods A secondary analysis was performed of the HF-ACTION trial ( Number: NCT00047437), which enrolled 2331 medically stable outpatients with HF and an EF ≤35% and randomized them to aerobic exercise training, consisting of 36 supervised sessions followed by home-based training versus usual care for a median follow-up of 30 months. The EuroQOL 5-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D) was administered to study participants at baseline, 3 months, and 12 months. EQ-5D includes functional dimensions (ie, mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression), which were mapped to corresponding utility scores (ie, 0 = death and 1 = perfect health), and a visual analogue scale (VAS) ranging from 0 (ie, “worst imaginable health state”) to 100 (ie, “best imaginable health state”). Results Study participants had a median (25th, 75th) age of 59 (51, 68) years and 71% were male. A history of ischemic heart disease was reported in 51% of participants and the EF was 25% (20%, 30%). Baseline VAS and mapped utility scores were 65± 19 and 0.81± 0.14. Exercise training led to an improvement in VAS score compared with usual care from baseline to 3 months (exercise training: 6 ± 17 vs usual care: 3 ± 20; P <.01) although there were no further significant changes at 12 months. Aerobic exercise training did not favorably change mapped utility scores over either timeframe. After multivariable adjustment, lower mapped utility (hazard ratio [HR] 1.19 per 0.1 decrease, 95% CI 1.09–1.29; P < .0001) and VAS scores (HR 1.05 per 10 point decrease, 95% CI 1.02–1.08; P < .01) at baseline were associated with increased risk of death or hospitalization. Conclusion Ambulatory HF patients with a reduced EF had impaired health status at baseline which was associated with increased morbidity and mortality, in part mitigated by a structured aerobic exercise regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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