The benefits for heart failure patients are similar to those foranyone who exercises: there’s less muscle-wasting, and their bodiesbecome conditioned to handle more exercise. Age of the patients didn’t matter, either, researchers found. “Many physicians — and insurance companies — still believethat cardiac rehabilitation does not really help in old age. Thisstudy clearly falsifies this belief,” said Stephan Gielen,M.D., lead co-author and Deputy Director of Cardiology at theUniversity Hospital, Martin-Luther-University of Halle, Germany. Between 2005 and 2008, researchers recruited 60 heart-failurepatients and 60 healthy volunteers. ABL Laminated Tube
Half of each group was 55 yearsand younger and the other half, 65 years and older, resulting in anaverage age difference of 20 years between the groups. Half theparticipants in each age group were randomly assigned to four weeksof supervised aerobic training or no exercise. Researchers tookmuscle biopsies of all participants before and after theintervention. In both age groups, four training sessions of 20 minutes of aerobicexercise per day, five days a week plus one 60 minute groupexercise session was associated with increased muscle forceendurance and oxygen uptake. Industrial Flexible Packaging
Heart failure patients 55 and underincreased their peak oxygen uptake by 25 percent, while those 65and over increased it by 27 percent. Using biopsy results, researchers found that levels of a muscleprotein indicating muscle breakdown, known as MuRF1, were higher inparticipants with heart failure than in their healthiercounterparts. However, exercise reduced MuRF1 and reduced muscleinflammation, measured by levels of a protein called TNF-alpha. The strength of participants’ leg muscles was measured before andafter the exercise. Younger and older heart failure patientsincreased muscle strength after the four-week exercise regimen.Muscle size was unaffected. China Food Flexible Packaging
These findings offer a possible treatment to the muscle breakdownand wasting associated with heart failure and suggest that exerciseis therapeutic even in elderly heart failure patients. The findingsalso suggest an avenue for drug development to slow musclebreakdown in heart failure patients. “Exercise switches off the muscle-wasting pathways andswitches on pathways involved in muscle growth, counteractingmuscle loss and exercise intolerance in heart failurepatients,” Gielen said. According to the American Heart Association, about 5,700,000Americans age 20 and older have heart failure.
“Over the last three decades, hospital admissions for heartfailure have increased fourfold and will continue to do so, duechiefly to the aging of the population,” Gielen said.Estimates of costs vary, but are in the tens of billions of dollarsper year in the United States alone, researchers said. The lead co-author is Marcus Sandri, M.D. and other co-authors areIrina Kozarez, M.D.; Jurgen Kratzsch, M.D.; Daniel Teupser, M.D.;Joachim Thiery, M.D.; Sandra Erbs, M.D.; Norman Mangner, M.D.;Karsten Lenk, M.D.; Rainer Hambrecht, M.D.; Gerhard Schuler, M.D.and Volker Adams, M.D.