Physical activity in women after an acute myocardial infarction

Mona Løvlien, Liv Mundal, Marie-Louise Hall-Lord


Background: Physical activity is recognized as being important in reducing mortality after an acute myocardial infarction. The study aimed to describe younger and older women’s leisure time physical activity after an acute myocardial infarction, their motivations and barriers for engaging in physical activity and to assess aspects associated with referral and attendance in cardiac rehabilitation programmes.

Methods: Women diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction were consecutively recruited and answered a questionnaire 2-3 months after hospital discharge.

Results: The majority of the respondents (86%) were physically active after their acute myocardial infarction and 34% were physically active ≥ 4 days a week for ≥ 30 minutes. Respondents ≥ 66 years were less likely than respondents < 66 years to report moderate physical activity (39% vs. 58%, p = .03) and more likely to report low physical activity (27% vs. 8%, p < .01). No differences were found between these age groups reporting high physical activity (34% vs. 34%). Respondents ≥ 66 years were also less likely than younger respondents to maintain or increase their physical activity after the acute event (59% vs. 76%, p < .01), to be informed about the significance of physical activity while in hospital (61% vs. 80%, p = .01), to be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation programme (49% vs. 75%, p ≤ .01) and to attend such a programme (30% vs. 65%, p < .01).

Conclusions: Women’s age was associated with physical activity as well as their possibilities regarding cardiac rehabilitation after an acute myocardial infarction.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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