Objectives: Exercise training might improve cardiac function as well as functional capacity in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT pro-BNP), is associated with the severity of the disease, and has been reported to be an independent predictor of outcome in CHF. We evaluated the effect of a four months group-based aerobic interval training program on circulating levels of NT pro-BNP in patients with CHF. We have previously reported improved functional capacity in 80 patients after exercise in this exercise program.
Methods: Seventy-eight patients with stable CHF (21% women; 70+/-8 years; left ventricular ejection fraction 30+/-8.6%) on optimal medical treatment were randomized either to interval training (n=39), or to a control group (n=39). Circulating levels of NT pro-BNP, a six minute walk test (6MWT) and cycle ergometer test were evaluated at baseline, post exercise, and further after 12 months.
Results: There were no significant differences in NT pro-BNP levels from baseline to either post exercise or long-term follow-up between or within the groups. Inverse correlations were observed between NT pro-BNP and 6MWT (r=-0.24, p=0.035) and cycle exercise time (r=-0.48, p<0.001) at baseline. But no significant correlations were observed between change in NT pro-BNP and change in functional capacity (6MWT; r=0.12, p=0.33, cycle exercise time; r=0.04, p=0.72).
Conclusion: No significant changes in NT pro-BNP levels were observed after interval training, despite significant improvement of functional capacity.