HIIT offers more time-efficient option to improve physical health and quality of life in AF: JAMA

In patients with atrial fibrillation, HIIT offers a more
time-efficient option to improve physical health and quality of life suggests a
recent study published in the JAMA Network Open.

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) experience poor
functional capacity and quality of life (QOL). High-intensity interval training
(HIIT) has been shown to elicit greater improvements in functional capacity and
QOL compared with moderate to vigorous intensity continuous training (MICT) in
other cardiovascular populations, yet HIIT remains understudied in AF.

A study was conducted to compare the effects of 12 weeks of
HIIT and MICT-based cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) on functional capacity
and general QOL in patients with persistent and permanent AF. Disease-specific
QOL, resting heart rate (HR), time in AF, and physical activity (PA) levels
were also assessed.

This randomized clinical trial, conducted between November
17, 2015, and February 4, 2020, at a tertiary-care cardiovascular health center
in Ottawa, Canada, recruited 94 patients with persistent and permanent AF.

High-intensity interval training (23 minutes: two 8-minute
interval training blocks of 30-second work periods at 80%-100% of peak power
output interspersed with 30-second recovery) or CR (60 minutes: continuous
aerobic conditioning within 67%-95% of peak HR and 12-16 of 20 ratings of
perceived exertion) twice weekly for 12 weeks.

The primary outcomes were changes in functional capacity
(6-minute walk test [6MWT] distance) and general QOL (Short Form 36) from
baseline to 12 weeks’ follow-up. Secondary outcomes included changes in
disease-specific QOL (Atrial Fibrillation Severity Scale), resting HR, time in
AF, and PA levels. An intention-to-treat analysis was used to compare changes
between groups.

Results

  • Of the 94 patients who consented, 86
    participated
  • No significant differences in improvements in
    6MWT distance and general QOL between HIIT and CR were observed.
  • No significant differences in improvements in
    disease-specific QOL resting HR and moderate to vigorous PA levels between HIIT
    and CR were detected.
  • Participants attended a mean (SD) of 18.3 (6.1)
    (75.1%) HIIT sessions and 20.0 (4.5) (83.4%) CR sessions (P = .36).
  • In this randomized clinical trial, twice-weekly
    23-minute HIIT was as efficacious as twice-weekly 60-minute CR in improving
    functional capacity, general and disease-specific QOL, resting HR, and PA
    levels in patients with persistent and permanent AF.

Reference:

Reed JL, Terada T, Vidal-Almela S, et al. Effect of
High-Intensity Interval Training in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: A
Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(10):e2239380.
doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.39380

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