Jug (2022) Aquatic Therapy safe and beneficial for patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Summary: Effects of Aquatic Exercise Training on HRV in CAD Patients

Background of the Study

Aquatic exercise training is a novel approach in managing coronary artery disease (CAD). This study by Jug et al. aimed to compare the impact of a 14-day water-based exercise program against land-based exercise on heart rate variability (HRV) in CAD patients. This method stands out as it focuses on a less explored exercise modality for CAD patients, examining its potential benefits on cardiac autonomic function.

Study Design and Methods

The study involved 90 patients who had recently experienced a CAD event, such as myocardial infarction or revascularization. Participants were randomized into three groups: water-based exercise, land-based exercise, or control. They underwent two 30-minute exercise sessions daily for 14 days. HRV was analyzed using high-resolution ECG recordings both before and after the intervention, employing both linear and non-linear analytical methods.

Key Findings and Results

Eighty-nine patients completed the study. While no significant differences were observed in baseline-adjusted end-of-study HRV parameters across groups, the aquatic exercise group showed a notable increase in linear low-frequency/high-frequency (LF/HF) and non-linear short-term scaling exponent α1 parameters. These improvements indicate that aquatic exercise positively influences cardiac autonomic modulation, suggesting safety and potential benefits for CAD patients.

Conclusions and Implications

This largest study comparing water-based and land-based exercise training in recent CAD patients is also the first to focus on HRV. The findings suggest that short-term aquatic exercise training enhances specific HRV parameters. Indicating its safety and potential advantages for CAD patients. Aquatic exercise emerges as a safe and beneficial modality for cardiac rehabilitation in CAD patients, highlighting its role in improving cardiac autonomic function.

Keyphrase: Aquatic Exercise and HRV in CAD


Aquatic exercise, heart rate variability, coronary artery disease, exercise training, cardiac rehabilitation

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