Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a catastrophic cardiac event, that is often the first, last and only cardiac event for unfortunate victims. In a study published July 1,2016 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, led by David Jimenez-Pavon, Enrique Artero, DC Lee and senior author , Dr Steven Blair from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, my colleagues and I reported on a cohort of over 55,000 followed for 15 years on average , during which 109 SCDs occurred.
What is the best practice for cardiac rehabilitation really? The clinical practice in Europe differs enormously with regard to how we do it, when we do it and where we do it, despite numerous guidelines and several scientific papers regarding this topic. The Take Heart project aims to identify the best clinical practice in cardiac rehabilitation and thereby improve the quality and attendance rates among eligible patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).
In Europe, CHD accounts for an estimated 1.95 million deaths each year and is estimated to cost the EU economy € 60 billion a year. In secondary prevention, exercise training is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in CHD. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation is therefore strongly recommended to patients with CHD, and should be offered to all eligible patients. However, the reality is quite the opposite! It is estimated that less than 30 % of eligible patients attend the cardiac rehabilitation.
The Crown Prince of Norway tested his fitness using our Fitness Calculator during an event at Egertorget in Oslo at the World Activity Day in May – and as expected he was quite fit.
Physical fitness is key to a long, healthy life. Your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise is the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness. The more oxygen your body can transport and utilize, the higher your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and hence your cardiovascular fitness. Your fitness depends, among other things, on your age, gender and how often and how hard you train. You can increase your fitness though training!
The advisory unit concerns the dissemination of knowledge about exercise training as treatment for people with coronary heart disease, heart failure, peripheral artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The service is involved in education, research and promotion of exercise training as medicine for those cardiopulmonary conditions.
Depression is common and estimates suggest that in a family of four, one of the family members will likely suffer from mental health problems. Depression is even 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population. Depression after a heart attack is bad not only because of the accompanying emotional distress, it also increases the risk of having another heart attack or premature death.
The CO-rebreathing technique for measuring total blood volume and hemoglobin mass is safe to perform in stable coronary artery disease patients having completed cardiac rehabilitation. Trine Karlsen and colleagues show this in a resent study ”Safety of the CO-Rebreathing Method in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease”, published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal.
“The aim of the study was to investigate the use of this methodology in stable coronary artery disease patients to allow for an implementation of the methodology in this patient group”, Karlsen says. Knowledge of total blood volume and absolute hemoglobin mass is vital when evaluating cardiovascular physiology and function, as well as physical activity performance.