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The effect of a cardiac rehabiltation exercise program on plasma viscosity, fibrinogen concentration, Hematocrit, blood lipids and exercise capacity Velzen, Minetaro Vincent Naruki-van


Hemorheological variables are strong predictors of coronary heart disease. Several cross-sectional and longitudinal training studies on healthy populations suggest that physical activity improves hemorheological profile through a decrease in whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity (VIS), hematocrit (HCT), and fibrinogen (FIB). Although cardiac rehabilitation programs (CRP) have proven to be effective at reducing mortality, morbidity and improving cardiac risk factors, it is unclear whether CRPs improve hemorheological profile in secondary prevention patients. The purpose of this study was to determine if CRP improves plasma rheology, HDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels and exercise capacity. Fifteen subjects enrolled in a three month CRP program had HCT, FIB, and VIS measured on three occasions: twice before the CRP intervention, and once at the end of the CRP intervention. Changes in HDL, triglycerides, and exercise capacity were measured before and after the CRP intervention. There were no significant differences in any of the hemorheological variables over time [HCT (p=0.330); FIB (p=0.275); VIS (p=0.533)]. There was a modest, but statistically significant correlation between fibrinogen and plasma viscosity (p=0.035, r = 0.319). Exercise capacity, as measured by time completed on the Bruce treadmill protocol, improved significantly (p<0.00l). HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels just failed to reach significance (p=0.08 and p = 0.123 respectively). This study suggests that CRP provides enough exercise stimulus to increase exercise capacity; however, CRP does not provide adequate stimulus to bring about the hemorheological changes observed in other studies.

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