Prioritizing movement to address the frailty phenotype in heart failure.

Affiliation

Laddu DR(1), Ozemek C(2), Sabbahi A(3), Severin R(4), Phillips SA(4), Arena R(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection
(HL - PIVOT) Network, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America.
(3)Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection
(HL - PIVOT) Network, Chicago, IL, USA.
(4)Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection
(HL - PIVOT) Network, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

Frailty is a highly prevalent multisystem syndrome in older adults with heart failure (HF) and is associated with poor clinical prognosis and increased complexity of care. While frailty is neither disease nor age specific, it is a clinical manifestation of aging-related processes that reflects a reduced physiological ability to tolerate and recover from stress associated with aging, disease, or therapy. Within this context, physical frailty, which is distinctly oriented to physical functional domains (e.g., muscle weakness, slowness, and low activity), has been recognized as a critical vital sign in older persons with HF. Identification and routine assessment of physical frailty, using objective physical performance measures, may guide the course of patient-centered treatment plans that maximize the likelihood of improving clinical outcomes in older HF patients. Exercise-based rehabilitation is a primary therapy to improve cardiovascular health in patients with HF; however, the limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of exercise tailored to older and frail HF patients underscores the current gaps in management of their care. Interdisciplinary exercise interventions designed with consideration of physical frailty as a therapeutic target may be an important strategy to counteract functional deficits characteristic of frailty and HF, and to improve patient-centered outcomes in this population. The purpose of this current review is to provide a better understanding of physical frailty and its relation to management of care in older patients with HF. Implications of movement-based interventions, including exercise and physical rehabilitation, to prevent or reverse physical frailty and improve clinical outcomes will further be discussed.