Exercise training counterbalances chronotropic incompetence and delayed heart rate recovery in systemic lupus erythematosus: A randomized trial

Arthritis Care & Research , 04/26/2012

Miossi R et al. – A 3–month exercise training program was safe and capable of reducing the chronotropic incompetence and the delayed heart rate recovery observed in physically inactive SLE patients.


  • A 12–wk, randomized trial was conducted.
  • Twenty four inactive SLE patients were randomly assigned into two groups: trained (T, n=15, three–month exercise program) and non–trained (NT, n=13).
  • Agender–, BMI–, and age–matched healthy control group (C, n=8) also underwent the exercise program. Subjects were assessed at baseline (PRE) and 12 weeks after training (POST).
  • Main measurements included the chronotropic reserve (CR) and the heart rate recovery (ΔHRR) as defined by the difference between HR at peak exercise and at both first (ΔHRR1) and second (ΔHRR2) minutes after the exercise test.


  • Neither the non–trained SLE (NT) patients nor the healthy control group (C) presented any change in the chronotropic reserve or in ΔHRR1 and ΔHRR2 (p>0.05).
  • The exercise training program was effective in promoting significant increases in chronotropic reserve (p=0.007; ES=1.15), and in ΔHRR1 and ΔHRR2 (p=0.009; ES=1.12 and p=0.002; ES=1.11, respectively) in the SLE trained group (T) when compared with the NT group.
  • Moreover, the heart rate response in SLE patients after training achieved parameters comparable to the healthy control subjects, as evidenced by the ANOVA and by the Z–score analysis (p>0.05, T vs. C).
  • SLEDAI scoresremained stable throughout the study.

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