Effect of age and coronary artery disease on response to snow shoveling

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1992 Nov 1;20(5):1111-7. doi: 10.1016/0735-1097(92)90366-u.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of age and coronary artery disease on responses to snow shoveling.

Background: Little information is available on the hemodynamic and metabolic responses to snow shoveling.

Methods: Sixteen men with asymptomatic coronary artery disease and relatively good functional work capacity, 13 older normal men and 12 younger normal men shoveled snow at a self-paced rate. Oxygen consumption, heart rate and blood pressure were determined. In nine men with coronary artery disease left ventricular ejection fraction was evaluated with an ambulatory radionuclide recorder.

Results: Oxygen consumption during snow shoveling differed (p < 0.05) among groups; it was lowest (18.5 +/- 0.8 ml/kg per min) in those with coronary artery disease, intermediate (22.2 +/- 0.9 ml/kg/min) in older normal men and highest (25.6 +/- 1.3 ml/kg/min) in younger normal men. Percent peak treadmill oxygen consumption and heart rate with shoveling in the three groups ranged from 60% to 68% and 75% to 78%, respectively. Left ventricular ejection fraction and frequency of arrhythmias during shoveling were similar to those during treadmill testing.

Conclusions: During snow shoveling 1) the rate of energy expenditure selected varied in relation to each man's peak oxygen consumption; 2) older and younger normal men and asymptomatic men with coronary artery disease paced themselves at similar relative work intensities; 3) the work intensity selected represented hard work but was within commonly recommended criteria for aerobic exercise training; and 4) arrhythmias and left ventricular ejection fraction were similar to those associated with dynamic exercise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Snow*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology