New Cochrane review found that exercise therapy improves exercise capacity in heart transplant recipients

In this new review, the authors included 10 trials (n=300) which evaluated the effects of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for people who had received a heart transplantation. Nine studies compared an exercise-only intervention with a no exercise comparator and one study compared high-intensity interval training with moderate-intensity training. Exercise capacity was measured using the peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). There was moderate quality evidence that exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation improves exercise capacity by 2.49 mL/kg/min of the VO2peak (95% CI 1.63 to 3.36) in people that received heart transplantation compared to those receiving no exercise. However, there was no evidence of a difference between exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and control groups in four studies. Only one adverse event was reported by one study and it was in the comparator group, not in the intervention group. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation did not have an impact on health-related quality of life. Although exercise was effective for improving exercise capacity, more clinical trials with representative samples and high methodological quality are needed to establish the long-term effects of exercise-based rehabilitation in heart transplant recipients.

Anderson et al. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in heart transplant recipients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017;Issue 4

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