Vol 17, No 2 (2010)
Original articles
Published online: 2010-03-29

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Physical activity profile in heart failure patients from a Brazilian tertiary cardiology hospital

Guilherme Veiga Guimarães, Vitor Oliveira Carvalho, Vanessa Torlai, Edimar Alcides Bocchi
Cardiol J 2010;17(2):143-145.


Background: Physical activity (PA) has proven benefits in the primary prevention of heart diseases such as heart failure (HF). Although it is well known, HF PA habits and physicians’ advice have been poorly described. The aim of this study was to investigate if physicians were advising HF patients to exercise and to quantify patients’ exercise profiles in a complex cardiology hospital.
Methods: All 131 HF patients (80 male, average age 53 ± 10 years, NYHA class I–V, left ventricular ejection fraction 35 ± 11%, 35 ischemic, 35 idiopatic, 32 hypertensive and 29 with Chagas disease) went to the hospital for a HF routine check-up. On this occasion, after seeing the physician , we asked the patients if the physician had advised them about PA. Then, we asked them to fill in the international physical activity questionnaire (IPQA) Short Form to classify their PA level.
Results: Our data showed a significant difference between patients who had received any kind of PA advice from physicians (36%) and those who had not (64%, p<0.0001). Using the IPAQ criteria, of the 36% of patients who had received advice, 12.4% were classified as low and 23.6% as moderate. Of the 64% of patients who did not receive advice, 26.8% were classified as lowand 37.2% as moderate. Etiology (except Chagas), functional class, ejection fraction, sex and age did not influence the PA profile.
Conclusions: Physicians at a tertiary cardiology hospital were not giving patients satisfactory advice as to PA. Our data supports the need to strengthen exercise encouragement by physicians and for complementary studies on this area.
(Cardiol J 2010; 17, 2: 143-148)

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