Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) may have low pulse pressures (PP). This retrospective study was undertaken to analyse the relationship between PP and outcomes of a 12-week exercise training programme. Data analysed from 86 patients (69 male) aged 40 to 86 years, included: PP, functional capacity (metabolic equivalents [METS]) and quality of life (QoL) using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ).
Median pre-training PP was 54 ± 19 mmHg. Functional capacity for the same heart rate (estimated 60% heart rate reserve) and Borg rating of 13 increased from 3.6 ± 1.1 to 4.0 ± 1.2 METS (p=0.0005); MLHFQ scores improved from 26 ± 19 to 22 ± 20 (p=0.0005). There was a high correlation between PP and systolic blood pressure pre- and post-training (pre: r=0.77, p=0.0005; post: r=0.80, p=0.0005). Changes in all the above outcomes were independent of pre-training PP.
In conclusion, low PP did not reduce the efficacy of an exercise training programme, indicating that CHF patients with low PP can benefit similarly to those with normal/raised PP.