A new study shows that when one of the four chambers of the heart is abnormal, a person has a lower capacity for exercise.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. studied nearly 2,900 people. Under exercise echocardiography they looked at the diastolic function – when the heart is relaxed and expanded as well as systolic function – when the heart is contracted.
Patients who had a left ventricle with diastolic dysfunction when resting had a lower capacity for exercise. The older the patient, the less the capacity for exercise.
Other factors influence the capacity to exercise included the female sex, and a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. The authors suggest that testing the left ventricle function could be used to predict exercise capacity, and has the potential to be modified to develop exercise tolerance.
Patients should set as a goal, at least 30 minutes of walking three days a week and build to 45 minutes at least five days a week. That is the guideline set by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. #