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Heart Failure, Physical Activity, Predictors, Comorbidities, Age


Objective: This study set out to assess the extent to which heart failure (HF) patients engage in physical exercise, to characterize the parameters associated with such activity, and to investigate potential barriers to and motivations for such activity.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study

Place and Duration: From July i2021 to February i2022, University Hospital Centre «Mother Teresa» in Tirana, Albania.

Methods: Total 137 patients of both genders having heart failure disease were included in this study. Patients' age, sex, BMI, education level, duration of heart disease, and presence of co-morbidities were documented after obtaining informed written consent. Patients with HF were given a survey that included questions on their physical activity levels (adapted from the Short Form-International Physical Activity Questionnaire), as well as any obstacles they could have and any positive incentives they might have. Data was analysed using SPSS 25.0.

Results: Patients mean age was 67.9±20.96 years and had mean BMI 26.1±4.49 kg/m2. There were majority males 85 (62.04%) and 52 (37.96%) cases were females. Most common comorbidity was HTN found in 67 cases, followed by DM in 42 cases and kidney disease in 31 cases. 82 (59.9%) patients were educated and 55 (40.1%) cases were illiterate. Among all, 40 (29.2%) patients had low level of physical activity, 64 (46.7%) cases had moderate level and 34 (22.6%) cases had high level of physical activity. Mean daily energy expenditure (DEE) of all patients was 7936.67±2613.27 kJ 24 h. There was a strong correlation between increased exercise levels and levels of education, self-efficacy, and motivation among all cases. More than half (59.4%) of respondents cited psychological factors as the primary impetus for regular physical activity, whereas just 31.4% cited physical factors and 23.4% cited social factors. In this study, we identified age, body mass index, and symptom distress as risk factors for PA(intensive) DEE.

Conclusion: This study found that 35% of patients with HF did not engage in any form of physical activity on a daily basis. Patient knowledge, exercise self-worth, and motivation are more important than disease or symptom severity when counseling a patient with HF about physical activity. Age, BMI, and distress symptoms all predicted more severe PA(intensive) DEE.

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