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Physical Activity in Patients With Heart Failure During and After COVID-19 Lockdown: Single-Center Observational Retrospective Study.

PMID: 35103602 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.2196/30661 (read at publisher's website )
PMCID: PMC9020797 (free full text version available)

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Francesco Maria Angelo Brasca, Maria Carla Casale, Fabio Lorenzo Canevese, Giovanni Tortora, Giulia Pagano, Giovanni Luca Botto,

<h4>Background</h4>The COVID-19 pandemic forced several European governments to impose severe lockdown measures. The reduction of physical activity during the lockdown could have been deleterious.<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of this observational, retrospective study was to investigate the effect of the lockdown strategy on the physical activity burden and subsequent reassessment in a group of patients with heart failure who were followed by means of remote monitoring.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed remote monitoring transmissions during the 3-month period immediately preceding the lockdown, 69 days of lockdown, and 3-month period after the first lockdown in a cohort of patients with heart failure from a general hospital in Lombardy, Italy. We compared variation of daily physical activity measured by cardiac implantable electrical devices with clinical variables collected in a hospital database.<h4>Results</h4>We enrolled 41 patients with heart failure that sent 176 transmissions. Physical activity decreased during the lockdown period (mean 3.4, SD 1.9 vs mean 2.9, SD 1.8 hours/day; P<.001) but no significant difference was found when comparing the period preceding and following the lockdown (-0.0007 hours/day; P=.99). We found a significant correlation between physical activity reduction during and after the lockdown (R<sup>2</sup>=0.45, P<.001). The only significant predictor of exercise variation in the postlockdown period was the lockdown to prelockdown physical activity ratio.<h4>Conclusions</h4>An excessive reduction of exercise in patients with heart failure decreased the tolerance to exercise, especially in patients with more comorbidities. Remote monitoring demonstrated exercise reduction, suggesting its potential utility to encourage patients to maintain their usual physical activity levels.

JMIR Cardio (JMIR cardio)
[2022, 6(1):e30661]

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