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The Effects of Body Composition Changes to Observed Improvements in Cardiopulmonary Parameters After Exercise Training With Cardiac Rehabilitation

Richard V. Milani; Carl J. Lavie
Author and Funding Information

From the Cardiovascular Health Center, Section on Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ochsner Medical Institutions, New Orleans


1998 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1998;113(3):599-601. doi:10.1378/chest.113.3.599
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Abstract

Study objective: To discriminate the effects of body fat reduction on improvements in peak aerobic capacity made following exercise training during cardiac rehabilitation.

Design: Observational, prospective study.

Setting: Outpatient cardiovascular health center at regional academic center.

Patient interventions: Peak oxygen uptake (pkVo2), percent body fat, lean body mass (LBM), and other anthropometric measures were assessed before and after a 3-month program of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training in 500 consecutive cardiac patients following a major coronary event. Baseline pkl=V:o2 was corrected for LBM (pklV:o2 lean) and compared with posttraining values.

Results: Following exercise training, percent body fat decreased 5% from 26.2±8.0 to 24.8±7.5 (p<0.0001), and LBM increased 1% from 61.3±12.5 to 61.7±11.8 kg (p=0.02). pkVo2 increased 16% from 16.0 ±4.1 to 18.5±4.8 mL/kg/min (p<0.0001), and pkVo2 lean increased 13% from 21.7±5.3 to 24.6±6.0 mL/kg/min (p<0.0001). Isolating the effects of reduction in body fat, we discern that these changes contributed to 0.3 of the 2.5 mL/kg/min increase in pkVo2 or 12% of the increase in pkVo2 observed.

Conclusions: Changes in body composition, as a consequence of dietary and exercise modification, contribute to 12% of the "observed" improvement noted in weight-adjusted peak aerobic capacity following cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training. Changes in pkVo2 lean should be used by investigators to assess the singular effects of exercise conditioning alone.


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