Background: The present study examined the impact of an 8-week cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program on physiological outcomes and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Methods and Results: A total of 124 consecutive AMI patients were divided into a supervised outpatient CR group (n=82) and a non-CR group as a control (n=42). Peak oxygen uptake, handgrip strength, and knee extension muscular strength were used as physiological outcome measures. HRQOL outcomes were assessed by the Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (SF-36). CR group patients performed both aerobic exercise and moderate resistance training from 1 month (T1) to 3 months (T2) after AMI onset. Age, sex, body mass index, medications, and ejection fraction were similar in both groups. Significantly greater increases in overall physiological outcomes from T1 to T2 were measured in the CR group compared with those of the non-CR group. There were also significantly greater improvements in 4 of the 8 SF-36 health status subscales (physical functioning, role-physical, general health, and vitality) in the CR group compared with the non-CR group. Conclusions: Eight weeks of exercise training have specific effects on improvement in HRQOL and physiological outcomes in Japanese patients.
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