Importance of exercise training session duration in the rehabilitation of coronary artery disease patients

  1. Dominique Hansena,b
  2. Paul Dendalea
  3. Jan Bergera
  4. Steven Onkelinxa
  5. Use Reyckersa
  6. Annelies Hermansa
  7. Johan Vaesa
  8. Veerle Reenaersa
  9. Romain Meeusen
  1. a Virga Jesse Hospital, Rehabilitation and Health Centre, Hasselt
  2. b Department of Human Physiology and Sportsmedicine, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Professor Dr Romain Meeusen, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Faculty LK, Department of Human Physiology and Sportsmedicine, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32 26 292222; fax: +32 26 292876; e-mail:



Background In cardiac rehabilitation, 40-60-min exercise training sessions are advised. However, because of the increasing coronary artery disease (CAD) prevalence and higher workload for cardiac rehabilitation centres, it remains unclear whether 40-min exercise training sessions are equally effective as 60-min exercise training sessions.

Design Prospective randomized clinical trial.

Methods One hundred and thirty-four CAD patients were included in a 7-week rehabilitation programme. All patients exercised 3 days per week, at a heart rate corresponding to 65% of baseline peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). Patients were randomized in two groups: 40 versus 60-min exercise training sessions. Changes of body anthropometrics, resting haemodynamics, exercise capacity and ventilatory threshold, blood plasma lipid profile and C-reactive protein level were assessed.

Results As a result of rehabilitation, exercise capacity, ventilatory threshold, and blood plasma lipid profile improved significantly in the total population (P < 0.05), without differences between subgroups (P > 0.05). Body weight and waist circumference decreased significantly in total population (P < 0.01), but with a greater magnitude in the 40 versus 60-min exercise session group (P < 0.05).

Conclusions In the early rehabilitation of CAD patients, 40-min exercise training sessions seem to be at least as effective for improving body anthropometrics, blood plasma lipid profile and exercise capacity, as compared with 60-min exercise training sessions. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 15:453-459 © 2008 The European Society of Cardiology.


  • Received December 13, 2007.
  • Accepted February 14, 2008.


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