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Patients with Heart Failure During and After Inpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation

Authors Schürmann J, Noack F, Bethge S, Heinze V, Schlitt A

Received 11 August 2020

Accepted for publication 5 January 2021

Published 16 February 2021 Volume 2021:17 Pages 49—58


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Juliane Schürmann,1 Frank Noack,2,3 Steffi Bethge,4 Viktoria Heinze,4 Axel Schlitt4,5

1Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology AMEOS Clinic Bernburg, Bernburg, Germany; 2Department of Emergency Medicine, University Clinic Halle-Saale, Halle, Germany; 3Department of Medicine I, University Clinic Halle-Saale, Halle, Germany; 4Paracelsus-Harz-Clinic Bad Suderode, Quedlinburg, Germany; 5Medical Faculty, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

Correspondence: Juliane Schürmann
Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology AMEOS Clinic, Bernburg, 06406, Germany
Tel +49 3471 341504
Fax +49 3471 342053

Background: Heart failure is the third most fatal disease in Germany and generates considerable treatment costs. The multimodal program of inpatient rehabilitation can improve the symptoms and prognosis of these patients. At the present time, however, only few data are available on the effectiveness of rehabilitation for heart failure patients.
Methods: After receiving study approval from the ethics committee of the Saxony–Anhalt Medical Association, 200 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure were prospectively included in the study at Paracelsus-Harz-Clinic Bad Suderode, Quedlinburg, Germany. Baseline parameters such as age, gender, and BMI were documented. Outcome variables included NYHA classifications, quality of life, and mortality. For follow-up, the patients were contacted again by mail or phone after three and 12 months and, data on symptoms and serious events were recorded.
Results: The proportion of patients with a highly reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) was 13.5%, with a midrange reduced ejection fraction (HFmrEF) 33%, and with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) 53.5%. The mean age was 64 ± 11.9 years, the proportion of women 24.1%. The effects of rehabilitation were documented by low overall mortality (no patient died during the stay, only 4% of the patients died in the 12-month follow-up) and an improvement in NYHA classification during and after the inpatient rehabilitation.
Conclusion: This monocentric study showed effects both for symptoms (improvement in NYHA classifications) and prognosis (overall mortality) after rehabilitation. These data reflect the effectiveness of multimodal rehabilitation and underscore the need for rehabilitation in patients diagnosed with heart failure after an acute event and hospital stay or who present with chronic deterioration.

Keywords: heart failure, cardiac rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation

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