Effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation for prevention and treatment of sarcopenia in patients with cardiovascular disease - a retrospective cross-sectional analysis
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Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, with the risk of frailty and poor quality of life. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of sarcopenia and to investigate the effects of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CCR), including nutrition, physical exercise and medication, in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
We retrospectively studied 322 inpatients with CVD (age 72±12 years). Muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance were assessed before and after exercise training in patients with and without sarcopenia, which was defined as either a gait speed of <0.8 m/s or reduced handgrip strength (<26 kg in males and <18 kg in females), together with lower skeletal muscle index (SMI) (<7.0 kg/m2 in males and <5.7 kg/m2 in females). The actual daily total calorie and nutrient intake was also calculated.
Sarcopenia was identified in 28% of patients with CVD, these patients having a higher prevalence of symptomatic chronic heart failure and chronic kidney disease. SMI was significantly associated with protein intake and statin treatment. The ratio of peak VO2 and SMI was significantly higher in the statin treatment group. Handgrip strength, gait speed, leg weight bearing index, and nutritional intake improved after exercise training in patients both with and without sarcopenia.
The present findings suggest that CCR is a promising strategy for prevention and treatment of sarcopenia in patients with CVD.
Key wordsCardiac rehabilitation cardiovascular disease chronic heart failure sarcopenia statin
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