Peak aerobic capacity predicts prognosis in patients with coronary heart disease

Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Savage PD, Ehrman JK, Schairer J, Divine G, Aldred H, Ophaug K, Ades PA

With the use of contemporary preventative treatments such as statins or percutaneous coronary intervention, it remains unknown whether measured exercise capacity for assessment of future risk and prognosis is of any use. A group of 2812 patients with coronary heart disease having completed a symptom-limited exercise test were assessed for all-cause and cardiovascular disease specific mortality.

Peak VO2 remains a strong predictor of all-cause death. In men a peak VO2 below 15 ml.kg-1.min-1 was associated with the highest risk while a peak VO2 above 19 was associated with the lowest risk, for women high risk was less than 12 and low risk above 16.5. Every 1 ml.kg-1.min-1 increase in peak VO2 represents an approximate 15% decrease in risk of death.

American Heart Journal 2008; 156: 292 – 300

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