How much exercise is best for patients with coronary artery disease?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Vigorous physical activity once or twice weekly is linked with superior cardiac outcomes in patients with stable coronary artery disease (SCAD), according to a new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

The study analysed data from the CLARIFY international registry of 32,370 consecutive SCAD outpatients to determine the relationship between levels of physical activity and outcomes. 

Patients were followed for up to five years and grouped according to self-reported physical activity, namely: sedentary, only light physical activity most weeks, vigorous physical activity once or twice per week and vigorous physical activity three or more times per week. The primary outcome was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke.

The study found patients performing vigorous physical activity once or twice a week had the lowest risk of the primary outcome (hazard ratio [HR] 0.82; 95% CI 0.71-0.93; P=.0031), taking the light group as reference. Of note, engaging in more frequent exercise did not result in further outcome benefit.

The study also found all-cause death, cardiovascular death and stroke occurred less frequently in patients performing vigorous physical activity once or twice weekly. The rate of myocardial infarction was comparable between the four groups.