Exercise training and atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and literature analysis

M. Leggio, Augusto Fusco, D. Coraci, Daniele Coraci, Antonio Villano, G. Filardo, A. Mazza, Claudia Loreti, Elisabetta Serafini, L. Biscotti, Roberto Bernabei, Luca Padua, Silvia Giovannini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Objective: There are concerns in maintaining adequate levels of physical activity in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). This could be related to the type of exercise delivered, different among studies, as the words used to describe it as treatment. We have analysed the state-of-art of the role of the exercise in AF by a mathematical analysis. This analysis documented the connections between topics and updated the available evidence through a systematic review of the current literature. Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted using specific terms for studies published between 2000 and 2019. For the descriptive analysis of the current literature, we used the LExical Network analysed by the Graph THeory (LENGTH) method, while to perform our review we followed the PRISMA statement. Downs and Black Quality Index was also used to assess the quality of studies. The LENGTH approach indicated nonspecific terms as "exercise", "physical" and "activity" as more representative than "rehabilitation" to describe the intervention. Results: The systematic review identified nine studies on 882 patients of moderate (n=4) to good (n=5) quality. Training consisted of a combination of supervised ambulatory and home-based outpatient programs, focused on aerobic elements (endurance and resistance training, walking, treadmill and bicycle ergometer). Significant improvements in 6-minute walking test distance and peak oxygen uptake and in quality of life were obtained, with high adherence to training and no serious/significant adverse events. Only one trial was based on cardiac rehabilitation principles. Conclusions: Adequate exercise training can get a favourable cardiovascular outcome in patients with AF.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)5163-5175
Numero di pagine13
RivistaEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Rehabilitation


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