African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Physical activity and lifestyle modification in the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk in coronary artery bypass graft patients

L van Rooy, Y Coopoo


The conservative approach in reducing the progression of cardiovascular disease and decreasing risk factors is to change unhealthy lifestyle habits. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of cardiac rehabilitation, it is the supreme setting in which to promote necessary behaviour changes. This longitudinal and experimental study was aimed at measuring the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk factors in coronary artery bypass graft patients by application of a twelve-week exercise and lifestyle intervention programme. A Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Questionnaire, Physical Activity Questionnaire and Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire were administered to 18 coronary artery bypass graft patients. The main focus was to assess the cardiovascular disease risk by collecting data such as age, family history, gender, body fat percentage, diet, blood pressure, hypokinetic disease, physical activity, and stress levels. Significant improvements were noted in the alterable risk score (15.8 ± 3.4 to 8.8± 2.6; p=0.001), total risk (25.3 ± 3.4 to 22.3 ± 2.7; p=0.001), body fat percentage (21.5±2.29; p=0.016), diet (14.0±1.73; p=0.021), regular exercise (27.5±3.04; p=0.002) and stress levels (24.5±2.50; p=0.028). The intervention employed in this study significantly reduced all evaluated indices of cardiovascular disease risk and increased physical activity levels of this cohort. Cardiac rehabilitation as a multifaceted approach should include an intervention such as the one in this study as an adjunct therapy for coronary artery bypass graft patients, as it has been shown to promote recovery, empower patients to achieve and maintain better health, and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, thus improving activities of daily living.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease mortality, cardiovascular disease morbidity, coronary revascularization, exercise

AJOL African Journals Online