The effect of Tai Chi on cardiorespiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery

Author: Lan C//Chen SY,//Lai JS//Wong MK
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei.
Conference/Journal: Med Sci Sports Exerc
Date published: 1999
Other: Volume ID: 31 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 634-8 , Word Count: 229

PURPOSE: This study prospectively evaluated the training effect of a 1-yr Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) program for low-risk patients with coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) after a postoperative outpatient (phase II) cardiac rehabilitation program. METHODS: Twenty patients with mean age of 56.5±7.4 yr completed this study. The TCC group included nine men who practiced classical Yang TCC with an exercise intensity of 48-57% heart rate range (HRR). The control group included 11 men whom were recommended to do a home-based self-adjusted exercise program with similar intensity of phase II cardiac rehabilitation. Graded exercise tests were performed before and after 1 yr of training for all subjects. RESULTS: Mean attendance of the TCC group was 3.8±1.5 times weekly in contrast to 1.7±1.1 times for the control group. During the follow-up examination, the TCC group increased 10.3% in VO2peak (from 26.2±4.4 to 28.9±5.0 mL x kg(-1) min(-1), P<0.01) and increased 11.9% in peak work rate (from 135±26 W to 151±28 W, P<0.01). However, the control group showed slight decrease in VO2peak from 26.0±3.9 to 25.6±4.6 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1) and in peak work rate from 131±23 W to 128±32 W. At the ventilatory threshold, the TCC group also showed significant increase in VO2 and work rate (P<0.05). The control group did not significantly change in these variables. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that a 1-yr TCC program for low-risk patients with CABS could favorably enhance cardiorespiratory function.