Importance of early cardiac rehabilitation on changes in exercise capacity: a retrospective pilot study
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Graded cardiopulmonary exercise tests were analyzed from 62 coronary artery disease patients (n = 48 males; age, 72 ± 10 years; body mass index, 27 ± 4 kg/m(2)) before and after 18 ± 2 months of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Early initiation of CR (<114 days) produced greater increases in peak metabolic equivalents (METs) compared with the late (≥114 days) CR group (68% ± 51% vs. 41% ± 39%, p < 0.05). A negative correlation was found between CR delay and peak METs (r = -0.32; p = 0.02). Early initiation of CR may be important to maximize cardiorespiratory adaptations to chronic exercise training.
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