Changes in exercise capacity and lipids after clinic versus home-based aerobic training in coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients

J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2001 Jan-Feb;21(1):31-6. doi: 10.1097/00008483-200101000-00007.


Purpose: Despite the documented benefits of participating in rehabilitation programs, access to cardiac rehabilitation is limited for a large number of people with coronary artery disease (CAD). There is potential to increase participation in exercise training if home-based exercise were a viable option.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective database review of 1,042 patients who took part in exercise rehabilitation following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABGS) between 1992 and 1998. Of these, 713 patients took part in supervised exercise, and 329 were in an unsupervised, home-based group. All exercise protocols were based upon American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, and patients in both groups received exercise prescriptions that were similar in intensity, frequency, and duration.

Results: There were no differences between groups at baseline. Following 6 months of exercise training, there were substantial improvements in peak VO2, peak workload, and peak MET levels in both the supervised and unsupervised groups (P < 0.0001). Patients in the supervised group had significant improvements in both LDL and HDL-cholesterol, whereas the home-based group showed improvement in HDL-cholesterol only. When analyzed by sex, men performed better than women for all measures of exercise capacity; however, women in both groups showed approximate 20% improvements (P < 0.05) in exercise capacity as well as improvements in HDL-cholesterol.

Conclusion: Stable post CABGS patients who receive a detailed exercise prescription to follow at home do as well as those in supervised rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / rehabilitation*
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Disease / surgery
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Cholesterol