Tracie Miller, MD
Exercise Intervention in a Pediatric Population with Cardiomyopathy
University of Miami, Miami, FL
2006 Amount Awarded – $45,000
It has been shown in adults with heart failure that the addition of an exercise program can improve their physical capacity. However, there is a lack of research regarding the effect of exercise (aerobic or resistance training) in children with cardiomyopathy and the molecular mechanisms related to detraining or improvements with exercise. This study will evaluate the benefit of a structured exercise program in children with cardiomyopathy. The study will recruit 20 children age 9-18 years with primary dilated cardiomyopathy and 20 healthy children to participate in a 12 week (twice a week) hospital-based aerobic and resistance training program. Children will undergo baseline studies of cardiac function through echocardiography, metabolic stress testing, Holter monitoring, evaluation of body composition, assessment of strength and flexibility, surveys to access quality of life, and comparisons of the mitochondria function and the amount of mutations. If this study proves that supervised exercise regimens can improve cardiac function, body composition and quality of life for children with cardiomyopathy the results will serve to support further studies on cardiac rehabilitation in this group. Furthermore it will elucidate molecular and biological mechanisms underlying these improvements. The findings from this research could ultimately lead to third party payer (health insurers) support for exercise training in children with cardiomyopathy.