The Evolving Role of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Exercise in Prevention and Management of Heart Failure

Wally Omar, Ambarish Pandey, Mark J. Haykowsky, Jarett D. Berry, Carl J. Lavie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This paper highlights the dynamic relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and heart failure (HF). As heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) surpasses heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in prevalence, our void in understanding how to treat this syndrome becomes less justifiable. As such, significant attention has been given to the role that obesity and physical inactivity play, as both risk factors for heart failure, and therapeutic targets for its treatment. Recent Findings: Previous findings have shown that low CRF, obesity, and physical inactivity are all risk factors for HF. More recently, it has been discovered that these factors are even more significant when applied to HFpEF, even after accounting for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. As such, new investigations have attempted to discover whether improvements in CRF could be utilized as a tool for prevention of HF. In addition, small studies have shown that interventions to improve CRF in patients with HF could improve both quality of life and fitness. Summary: The role of CRF, PA, and obesity in the development of HF is now well established; however, our ability to attenuate that risk is yet to be determined. Observational data have signaled a correlation between improvements in PA, CRF and lower risk of HF however, large randomized controlled trials are still required to truly determine whether exercise training could be used in the prevention and treatment of HF, particularly HFpEF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent heart failure reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Obesity paradox
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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