This study attempted to determine the effects of 12-week low- and high-intensity aerobic exercise programs on functional capacity and cardiovascular efficiency of elderly post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients. Time (Timemax). estimated maximum VO2 (VO2max), heart rate (HRmax), systolic blood pressure(SBPmax), estimated mean arterial blood pressure (MABPmax), and rate × pressure product (RPPmax) were assessed during graded exercise tests before and after 12 weeks of low-intensity (65% HRmax) and high-intensity (85% HRmax) exercise. Subjects (n = 92) were placed in either a low-intensity (LIEX), high-intensity (HIEX), or nonexercising control group (CON). LIEX and HIEX showed increases from pre- to postprogram for Timemax and VO2max. LIEX and HIEX showed decreases for SBPmax, MABPmax, and RPPmax. HIEX and LIEX produced greater improvements than CON for these four variables, while HIEX was superior to LIEX. It was concluded that 12 weeks of low- and high-intensity aerobic exercise can increase functional capacity and cardiovascular efficiency in elderly post-CABG patients; however, high-intensity exercise may produce greater improvements than low-intensity exercise.
Darryn S. Willoughby is with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300. Mark Roozen and Randall Barnes are with the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Hood General Hospital’s Center for Health and Fitness, Granbury. TX 76048.