Long-Term Home Exercise Outcomes in Peripheral Artery Disease Participants

Photo Credit: Ruslan Dashinsky

The following is a summary of “Effects of Long‐Term Home Exercise in Participants With Peripheral Artery Disease,” published in the November 2023 issue of Cardiology by Gardner et al.

In this randomized controlled trial, researchers investigated the long-term effects of a home exercise program (HEP), a supervised exercise therapy (SET) program transitioning to HEP (SET/HEP), and a control intervention on peak walking time (PWT) and exercise time-to-minimum calf muscle oxygen saturation (StO2) in symptomatic individuals with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Over the initial 3 months, the HEP and SET/HEP groups engaged in intermittent walking to mild-to-moderate claudication pain, while the control group performed light resistance training. Over the subsequent 15 months, the HEP group continued their exercise program, the SET/HEP group transitioned from SET to the HEP program, and the control group received walking advice only. Results demonstrated a significant increase in PWT from baseline to month 18 in both the HEP (408±279 to 814±393 meters) and SET/HEP groups (457±288 to 818±313 meters). 

Similarly, exercise time-to-minimum calf muscle StO2 significantly increased in both the HEP (238±241 to 497±485 seconds) and SET/HEP groups (296±289 to 620±450 seconds). These improvements were notably higher compared to the control group (P<0.001 for PWT and P<0.01 for exercise time-to-minimum calf muscle StO2). Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between the changes in exercise time-to-minimum calf muscle StO2 and PWT in both exercise groups combined (r=0.601, P=0.0015). The findings indicate the efficacy of long-term HEP and SET/HEP in enhancing PWT and exercise time-to-minimum calf muscle StO2 among PAD symptomatic individuals, with notable correlations between these improvements.

Source: ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.122.029755

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