Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Functional Status and Mood Disorders in Elderly and Very Elderly Patients: A PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY
Purpose: Patients ≥80 yr are not frequently referred for cardiac rehabilitation (CR). This study aimed to describe the benefit of CR in the very elderly population in comparison with patients ≤65 and 66-79 yr in terms of gain in functional status and improvement of mood disorders. Methods: We conducted a prospective, cohort, single-center study. Physical performance was evaluated with a 6-min walk test (6MWT). Anxiety, depression, and overall psychological distress were evaluated with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores. Primary outcomes were the percent improvement in the predicted distance and the reduction in the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and overall psychological distress. Results: There were 45 (9%) patients ≥80 yr among 499 participants. There were no significant differences in the percent improvement of the predicted distance in the 6MWT among age groups, being +15 (7, 25)%, +15 (7, 25)%, and +10 (4, 26)% for ≤65, 66-79, and ≥80-yr groups, respectively (P =.11). The elderly group had a higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and overall psychological distress (72%, 51%, and 38%, respectively). After CR, there was a significant improvement in HADS scores in all groups. The prevalence of depression was reduced by 38%, anxiety by 60%, and overall psychological distress by 58%. Conclusion: Patients ≥80 yr have decreased physical performance and a higher prevalence of mood disorders than their younger counterparts. Nevertheless, they improved significantly in all outcomes measured.