Addition of Supervised Exercise Training to a Post-Hospital Disease Management Program for Patients Recently Hospitalized With Acute Heart Failure: The EJECTION-HF Randomized Phase 4 Trial
OBJECTIVES:This study sought to measure the impact on all-cause death or readmission of adding center-based exercise training (ET) to disease management programs for patients with a recent acute heart failure (HF) hospitalization. BACKGROUND:ET is recommended for patients with HF, but evidence is based mainly on ET as a single intervention in stable outpatients. METHODS:A randomized, controlled trial with blinded outcome assessor, enrolling adult participants with HF discharged from 5 hospitals in Queensland, Australia. All participants received HF-disease management program plus supported home exercise program; intervention participants were offered 24 weeks of supervised center-based ET. Primary outcome was all-cause 12-month death or readmission. Pre-planned subgroups included age (<70 years vs. older), sex, left ventricular ejection fraction (≤40% vs. >40%), and exercise adherence. RESULTS:Between May 2008 and July 2013, 278 participants (140 intervention, 138 control) were enrolled: 98 (35.3%) age ≥70 years, 71 (25.5%) females, and 62 (23.3%) with a left ventricular ejection fraction of >40%. There were no adverse events associated with ET. There was no difference in primary outcome between groups (84 of 140 [60.0%] intervention vs. 90 of 138 [65.2%] control; p = 0.37), but a trend toward greater benefit in participants age <70 years (OR: 0.56 [95% CI: 0.30 to 1.02] vs. OR: 1.56 [95% CI: 0.67 to 3.64]; p for interaction = 0.05). Participants who exercised to guidelines (72 of 101 control and 92 of 117 intervention at 3 months) had a significantly lower rate of death and readmission (91 of 164 [55.5%] vs. 41 of 54 [75.9%]; p = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS:Supervised center-based ET was a safe, feasible addition to disease management programs with supported home exercise in patients recently hospitalized with acute HF, but did not reduce combined end-point of death or readmission. (A supervised exercise programme following hospitalisation for heart failure: does it add to disease management?; ACTRN12608000263392).