Pulmonary rehabilitation improves heart rate variability at peak exercise, exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Shih Tsung Cheng, Yao Kuang Wu, Mei Chen Yang, Chun Yao Huang, Hui-Chuan Huang, Wen Hua Chu, Chou Chin Lan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appear to have impaired cardiac autonomic modulation with depressed heart rate variability (HRV). Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is recommended as an integral part of the management. However, the effect of PR on HRV at peak exercise remains unclear. Methods: Sixty-four patients with COPD participated in a 12-week, 2 sessions-per-week, hospital-based PR program. Baseline and post-PR status were evaluated by spirometry, HRV, health-related quality of life (HRQL, St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire, SGRQ), cardiopulmonary exercise test, respiratory muscle strength, and dyspnea Borg's scale. Results: After PR, there were significant improvements in the time and frequency domains of HRV with increased standard deviation of the normal R-R intervals, difference between adjacent normal R-R intervals within a given time minus one, high-frequency and decreased low-frequency, as well as concurrent improvements in HRQL, exercise capacity, dyspnea score, and respiratory muscle strength (all p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Exercise capacity
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Heart rate variability
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this