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Evidence-Based Study
The effect of Tai Chi on cardio-respiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery.

Clinical Sciences
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 31(5):634-638, May 1999. LAN, CHING; CHEN, SSU-YUAN; LAI, JIN-SHIN; WONG, MAY-KUEN

The effect of Tai Chi on cardiorespiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery. Med. Sci. Sports Exercise., Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 634-638, 1999.

Purpose: This study prospectively evaluated the training effect of a 1-yr Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) program for low-risk patients with coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) after a postoperative outpatient (phase II) cardiac rehabilitation program.

Methods: Twenty patients with mean age of 56.5 +/- 7.4 yr completed this study. The TCC group included nine men who practiced classical Yang TCC with an exercise intensity of 48-57% heart rate range (HRR). The control group included 11 men whom were recommended to do a home-based self-adjusted exercise program with similar intensity of phase II cardiac rehabilitation. Graded exercise tests were performed before and after 1 yr of training for all subjects.

Results: Mean attendance of the TCC group was 3.8 +/- 1.5 times weekly in contrast to 1.7 +/- 1.1 times for the control group. During the follow-up examination, the TCC group increased 10.3% in O2peak (from 26.2 +/- 4.4 to 28.9 +/- 5.0 mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1, P < 0.01) and increased 11.9% in peak work rate (from 135 +/- 26 W to 151 +/- 28 W, P < 0.01). However, the control group showed slight decrease in O2peak from 26.0 +/- 3.9 to 25.6 +/- 4.6 mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 and in peak work rate from 131 +/- 23 W to 128 +/- 32 W. At the ventilatory threshold, the TCC group also showed significant increase in O2 and work rate (P < 0.05). The control group did not significantly change in these variables.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated that a 1-yr TCC program for low-risk patients with CABS could favorably enhance cardio-respiratory function. (C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc

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