The following is the summary of “Physical activity and relationship to physical function, quality of life, and cognitive function in older patients with acute decompensated heart failure” published in the February 2023 issue of Heart Journal by Nelson, et al.
Patients recently admitted for acute decompensated heart failure HF(ADHF) have not been studied on the correlation between volitional physical activity level and health outcomes. To objectively evaluate sedentary behavior, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, 93 patients wore a wrist-mounted triaxial accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X+) 10 to 14 days after their index hospitalization for ADHF. Healthy participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and people with chronic, stable heart failure (HF) of the same age were used as comparison groups.
The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ), and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) were used to measure physical function, quality of life (QOL), and cognitive performance, respectively, in people with heart failure (HF). The average daily amount of sedentary time among ADHF patients was 1,008 minutes (IQR 896, 1,109 minutes), followed by 88 minutes of mild physical activity, and finally, 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Time spent sitting, walking, or running did not vary by gender or EF category. When compared to healthy adults (34%) and those with chronic, stable HF (27%), people with ADHF spent only 9% of awake time engaging in non-sedentary activity. There was no difference in SPPB, KCCQ, or MOCA scores among quartiles of total physical activity among ADHF individuals.
Low levels of physical activity and high levels of inactive time are 2 main intervention targets in the high-risk demographic of elderly patients newly hospitalized for ADHF. There was no correlation between patients’ levels of physical activity and their objective measures of physical function, QOL, or cognition, suggesting that patients’ activity levels can be used to inform assessments of their daily lives with HF independently of other variables.