Adjusting exercise in patients with heart failure

Harriette Van Spall

How to adjust the level of exercise in a patient with heart failure?

Harriette Van Spall, MD: Exercise is often underemphasized as an intervention. We know from studies, we know from meta-analyses that exercise improves quality of life, it improves functional capacity, and importantly it also reduces the risk of hospitalization related to heart failure.

A very objective way to assess exercise capacity is to send patients for cardiopulmonary exercise testing or cardiac rehabilitation programs, where trained professionals can assess patients and their ability to exercise and provide them with exercise prescriptions and a regimen that the patient can then follow.

So again, exercise improves outcomes and is of benefit to patients on multiple levels.

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