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.