High-intensity interval training in cardiac rehabilitation: a multi-centre randomized controlled trial
There is a lack of international consensus regarding the prescription of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for people with coronary artery disease (CAD) attending cardiac rehabilitation (CR).
To assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of low-volume HIIT compared with moderate-intensity steady-state (MISS) exercise training for people with CAD.
Methods and results
We conducted a multi-centre RCT, recruiting 382 patients from 6 outpatient CR centres. Participants were randomized to twice-weekly HIIT (n = 187) or MISS (n = 195) for 8 weeks. HIIT consisted of 10 × 1 min intervals of vigorous exercise (>85% maximum capacity) interspersed with 1 min periods of recovery. MISS was 20–40 min of moderate-intensity continuous exercise (60–80% maximum capacity). The primary outcome was the change in cardiorespiratory fitness [peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak)] at 8 week follow-up. Secondary outcomes included cardiovascular disease risk markers, cardiac structure and function, adverse events, and health-related quality of life. At 8 weeks, VO2 peak improved more with HIIT (2.37 mL.kg−1.min−1; SD, 3.11) compared with MISS (1.32 mL.kg−1.min−1; SD, 2.66). After adjusting for age, sex, and study site, the difference between arms was 1.04 mL.kg−1.min−1 (95% CI, 0.38 to 1.69; P = 0.002). Only one serious adverse event was possibly related to HIIT.
In stable CAD, low-volume HIIT improved cardiorespiratory fitness more than MISS by a clinically meaningful margin. Low-volume HIIT is a safe, well-tolerated, and clinically effective intervention that produces short-term improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness. It should be considered by all CR programmes as an adjunct or alternative to MISS.
Published inEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
- VoR (Version of Record)
CitationMcGregor, G., Powell, R., Begg, B., Birkett, S.T., Nichols, S., Ennis, S., McGuire, S., Prosser, J., Fiassam, O., Hee, S.W., Hamborg, T. et al (2023) 'High-intensity interval training in cardiac rehabilitation (HIIT or MISS UK): A multi-centre randomised controlled trial', European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, p.zwad039.
Cardiff Met Affiliation
- Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences
Cardiff Met AuthorsAimee Drane
Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group
- Cardiovascular Physiology
- © The Authors