Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are associated with an increased aerobic capacity in patients with chronic heart failure
(CHF). However, studies evaluating the impact of LVAD implantation on physical activity
(PA) are lacking. The aim of this study was to compare daily PA levels in participants with LVAD with well-matched CHF participants.
Sixteen participants with an LVAD (age, 59.1 ± 10.8 yr) were case-matched to 16 participants with advanced CHF (age, 58.3 ± 8.7 yr), who were listed or being considered for cardiac transplantation. Participants underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test to determine peak oxygen consumption
peak). Physical activity
was monitored continuously for seven consecutive days with an Actiheart monitor.
peak in the CHF group (12.3 ± 3.5 mL·kg−1
) was not significantly different to the LVAD group before LVAD implantation (10.4 ± 2.1 mL·kg−1
), but was lower than in the LVAD group after implantation (15.8 ± 4.3 mL·kg−1
< 0.05). Physical activity
was higher in the LVAD (19.7 ± 6.4 kJ·kg−1
) compared with the CHF group (11.6 ± 6.9 kJ·kg−1
= 0.001). The LVAD participants spent more time performing moderate-intensity PA than their CHF counterparts (median, 26 min·d−1
; interquartile range, 24–40 min·d−1
vs median, 12 min·d−1
; interquartile range, 9–16 min·d−1
< 0.001). Physical activity
was correlated with V˙O2
= 0.582; P
= 0.001) across participants in the CHF and LVAD groups.
Higher levels of PA were observed in participants with LVAD compared with patients with advanced CHF. This may be due to a higher V˙O2
peak, resulting in an improved capacity to perform activities of daily living with less symptoms.