Health-related quality of life and cardiac rehabilitation: Does body mass index matter?

J Rehabil Med. 2020 Jul 31;52(7):jrm00083. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2702.


Objective: To investigate the relation between body mass index class and changes in health-related quality of life in patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Patients: A total of 503 patients with acute coronary syndrome.

Methods: Data from the OPTICARE trial were used, in which health-related quality of life was measured with the MacNew Heart Disease HRQOL Instrument at the start, directly after, and 9 months after completion of cardiac rehabilitation. Patients were classed as normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Results: During cardiac rehabilitation, global health-related quality of life improved in patients in all classes of body mass index. Patients classed as overweight had a significantly greater improvement in social participation than those classed as normal weight (5.51-6.02 compared with 5.73-5.93, respectively; difference in change 0.30, p = 0.025). After completion of cardiac rehabilitation, health-related quality of life continued to improve similarly in patients in all classes of body mass index.

Conclusion: Health-related quality of life improved during cardiac rehabilitation in patients of all classes of body mass index. Patients classed as overweight showed the greatest improvement. The beneficial effects were maintained during extended follow-up after completion of cardiac rehabilitation.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; body mass index; cardiac rehabilitation; obesity; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*