This study aimed to clarify the effects of the interruption of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and refraining from going outside due to the COVID-19 pandemic on hemodynamic response and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during exercise including differences by age in phase 2 CR outpatients. Among 76 outpatients participating in consecutive phase 2 CR in both periods from March to April and June to July 2020, which were before and after CR interruption, respectively, at Sanda City Hospital were enrolled. The inclusion criterion was outpatients whose CR was interrupted due to COVID-19. We compared the data of hemodynamic response and RPE during exercise on the last day before interruption and the first day after interruption when aerobic exercise was performed at the same exercise intensity in the < 75 years group and ≥ 75 years group. Fifty-three patients were enrolled in the final analysis. Post-CR interruption, peak heart rate increased significantly (p = 0.009) in the < 75 years group, whereas in the ≥ 75 years group, weight and body mass index decreased significantly (p = 0.009, 0.011, respectively) and Borg scale scores for both dyspnea and lower extremities fatigue worsened significantly (both, p < 0.001). CR interruption and refraining from going outside due to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the hemodynamic response, RPE during exercise and body weight in phase 2 CR outpatients. In particular, patients aged ≥ 75 years appeared to be placed at an increased risk of frailty.
Keywords: COVID-19; Hemodynamic response; Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation patient; Rating of perceived exertion.