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Could breathing frequency become a pragmatic means to monitor exercise intensity in atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease?

Buckley, J P; Terada, T; Lion, A; Reed, J L


T Terada

A Lion

J L Reed


Introduction Innovations Fund of the Alternate Funding Plan for the Academic Health Sciences Centre of the Ministry of Ontario, Canada; New Investigator Award in Clinical Rehabilitation from the Canadian Institute for Health Research; Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Emerging Research Leaders Initiative. Aim Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, near to the 1st ventilatory threshold (VT1), in adults with atrial fibrillation (AF) and coronary heart disease (CHD) is recommended as a minimum level to derive safe and beneficial physiological gains. The irregular and rapid heart rate (HR) in AF or other heart rhythm disturbances in CHD create challenges for using HR to monitor exercise intensity. The aim of this study was to assess whether breathing frequency (BF) can be used to measure and monitor exercise intensity in people with AF and CHD. Methods An observation study of 30 AF participants with CHD (19M, 11F, 70.7 +/- 8.7 yrs) and 67 non-AF participants with CHD (38M, 29F, 56.9 +/-11.4 yrs) who performed incremental maximal exercise testing with continuous pulmonary gas exchange measures. Results Peak aerobic power (VO2 peak) in AF (17.8 +/- 5.0 was lower than in CHD (26.7 (p <.001). BF peak in AF and CHD were similar (p =.106); 34.6 +/- 5.4 and 36.5 +/- 5.0 breaths.min-1, respectively. In spite of a 14 year age difference, BFs at VT1, were similar in CHD patients with and without AF (23.2 +/- 4.6 and 22.4 +/-4.6 breaths.min-1 respectively). The same was true for BF at %VO2 peak (AF ~59%; CHD ~57%; p = .656). Conclusion In light of newly emerging affordable wearable technologies, this first study of its kind provides an encouraging potential and pragmatic approach for using BF to monitor exercise intensity in AF and CHD.


Buckley, J. P., Terada, T., Lion, A., & Reed, J. L. (2024). Could breathing frequency become a pragmatic means to monitor exercise intensity in atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease?. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 31(Supplement_1), i282.

Journal Article Type Meeting Abstract
Conference Name ESC Preventive Cardiology 2024 (25-27 April 2024)
Conference Location Athens, Greece
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 13, 2024
Publication Date 2024-06
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2024
Journal European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Print ISSN 2047-4873
Electronic ISSN 2047-4881
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue Supplement_1
Article Number zwae175.197
Pages i282
Public URL
Publisher URL