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Exercise and endothelial function in Chronic Heart Failure

10 May

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a disease most prevalent in the elderly. Additionally, symptoms are often aggravated in this population because of an overlap between the physiological age-related decline in exercise capacity and the disease-related functional decline. This study aimed to asses the effects of exercise training on endothelial progenator cells (EPCs) number and function in young and older CHF patients. It was found that 4 weeks of aerobic exercise training are effective in increasing EPCs number and function in young and older CHF patients.

60 with stable CHF and 60 healthy controls were divided into 2 age strata of 65 years old. Subjects were randomized until half of each strata (young healthy, young patients, older healthy, older patients) was in the intervention group, receiving 4 weeks of daily exercise training and the other half was in the control group, receiving usual care. EPCs number and function was measured at baseline and after 4 weeks.

This study found an age-related decline in EPCs number and function in healthy subjects, but not in CHF patients. After the short high-dose aerobic exercise training, a significant increase in function and number of EPCs was found in young and older CHF patients, and in older healthy subjects.

The beneficial effects of exercise training on endothelial function and EPCs were not diminished in older patients with CHF, emphasizing the potentials o

f exercise interventions in a patient group where CHF has a high prevalence.