Prognostic Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Patients With Heart Failure (from a Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study)

Am J Cardiol. 2022 Feb 1:164:79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.10.038. Epub 2021 Nov 27.


The prognostic effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) are inconsistent in recent reports on heart failure (HF). Generally, participants in previous trials were relatively young and had HF with reduced ejection fraction. Herein, we examined the effects of CR on HF prognosis using a nationwide cohort study. This multicenter prospective cohort study included hospitalized patients with acute HF or worsening chronic HF. Patients who underwent CR once or more times weekly for 6 months after discharge were included in the CR group. The main study end point was a composite of all-cause mortality and HF rehospitalization during a 2-year follow-up period. We performed propensity score matching to compare the survival rates between the CR and non-CR groups. Of the 2,876 enrolled patients, 313 underwent CR for 6 months. After propensity score matching using confounding factors, 626 patients (313 pairs) were included in the survival analysis (median age: 74 years). CR was associated with a reduced risk of composite outcomes (hazard ratio [HR] 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48 to 0.91; p = 0.011), all-cause mortality (HR 0.53; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.95; p = 0.032), and HF rehospitalization (HR 0.66; 95% CI 47 to 0.92; p = 0.012). Subgroup analysis showed similar CR effects in patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (≥50%) and HF with reduced ejection fraction (<40%). In the landmark analysis, CR did not reduce the aforementioned end points beyond 6 months after discharge (log-rank test: composite outcomes, p = 0.943; all-cause mortality, p = 0.258; HF rehospitalization, p = 0.831). CR is a standard treatment for HF regardless of HF type; however, further challenges may affect the long-term prognostic effects of CR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume
  • Treatment Outcome