Original article| Volume 96, ISSUE 3, P426-431, March 2015

Physical Activity in Primary Versus Secondary Prevention Indication Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Recipients 6–12 Months After Implantation – A Cross-Sectional Study With Register Follow Up

Published:November 14, 2014DOI:



      To describe physical activity status among patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) according to the indication for ICD implant compared with international guidelines and compared with a matched healthy reference population to detect potential for improved physical outcomes; to describe patients' beliefs regarding participation in physical exercise by ICD indication; to describe factors predicting low physical activity; and to describe physical activity as a predictor of mortality.


      National survey with register follow-up. Comparisons were made to a matched healthy reference population, and patients were followed in registers for 15 months.


      Patients are identified from national registers and questionnaires are distributed by postal mail.


      All diagnostic profiles and indications were included as were both single-chamber ICD and biventricular ICD (N=499).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Questions regarding physical activity and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form were used to assess physical activity.


      The response rate was 71.7%. The mean age of participants was 65.5 years, with 82% of participants being men. Of the participants, 37% participated in a rehabilitation program, and 21% were sedentary compared with 8% in the reference population (P<.0001). Only 13% of patients followed physical exercise guidelines. Low physical activity was predicted by primary prevention indication (odds ratio [OR]=2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3–4.7) and higher comorbidity (OR=2.1; 95% CI, 1.0–4.1; P<.05). Finally, low physical activity was associated with increased mortality (OR=3.9; 95% CI, 1.11–13.71; P<.05); however, it was not statistically significant when adjusted for age, sex, marital status, and comorbidity.


      Guidelines for exercise and participation in rehabilitation are not met for this population, leaving a great potential for future interventions to improve the clinical outcomes, which are modifiable by exercise.


      List of abbreviations:

      ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), IPAQ-SF (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form), MET (metabolic equivalent task)
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