Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 6-month exercise rehabilitation program can improve cardiovascular risk factors in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). Methods: Thirty- four patients (mean age, 68 ± 8 years; range 54-84 years) with PAOD with intermittent claudication (Fontaine stage II) and 14 longitudinal controls of comparable age with stage II PAOD enrolled in an exercise intervention at the University Medical Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Baltimore, Maryland. The main outcome measures were lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C]), fasting glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, treadmill times to onset and maximal claudication pain, cardiopulmonary function (peak oxygen uptake), and ankle/brachial index. Results: With exercise rehabilitation, treadmill times to onset and maximal claudication pain increased by 106% and 64% (P < .0001), whereas peak oxygen uptake increased 7% (P < .05). Exercise rehabilitation lowered total cholesterol and LDL-C levels by 5.2% (P < .005) and 8% (P < .01), respectively. Systolic blood pressure declined by 5.7% (P < .05) with no change in diastolic blood pressure. These changes in cholesterol and LDL-C concentrations were related to their initial values. All other cardiovascular risk factors measured did not change. There was no correlation between improvement of cardiovascular risk factors and functional performance measurements. None of the variables measured changed significantly in the control group. Conclusions: Exercise rehabilitation not only improves functional performance, but also results in favorable alterations in cardiovascular risk factor profile, which is an important element in the management of PAOD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine