Exercise training as a therapy for chronic heart failure: can older people benefit?

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    Despite recent advances in pharmacological therapy, chronic heart failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older people. Studies of exercise training in younger, carefully selected patients with heart failure have shown improvements in symptoms and exercise capacity and in many pathophysiological aspects of heart failure, including skeletal myopathy, ergoreceptor function, heart rate variability, endothelial function, and cytokine expression. Data on mortality and hospitalization are lacking, and effects on everyday activity, depression, and quality of life are unclear. Exercise therapy for patients with heart failure appears to be safe and has the potential to improve function and quality of life in older people with heart failure. To realize these potential benefits, exercise programs that are suitable for older, frail people need to be established and tested in an older, frail, unselected population with comorbidities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)699-709
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2003


    • Heart failure
    • Exercise training
    • Physical training
    • Older people


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