Heart transplant patients can benefit from high-intensity exercise

18 August 2014:

A new study, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, has shown that high-intensity exercise can be more efficient and is safe for stable heart transplant recipients.

The research, led by Professor Christian Dall of the Bispebjerg Hospital at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, also found that it can improve their exercise capacity and blood pressure more than moderate intensity exercise.

The team compared 16 stable patients who had undergone 12 weeks of high-intensity interval training with those who had done moderate training. It found that high-intensity interval training maximal oxygen uptake rose by 17 per cent in the high-intensity compared to just ten per cent in the moderate group.

Systolic blood pressure also fell in patients in the high-intensity group and their peak heart rate increased, while no effect was seen in the moderate intensity group. Heart rate recovery improved in both groups.

Professor Dall said impaired heart rate response has always been considered a hindrance for more demanding high-intensity training, but this new study finds that stable heart transplant recipients can benefit from this type of training.

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

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