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Can 8 weeks of high intensity exercise training improve outcomes in patients with heart failure?

Ended on 12/26/16
Campaign Ended
  • $14
  • 1%
  • Finished
    on 12/26/16

About This Project

Emerging data suggest that high intensity exercise training in select heart failure patients may result in better outcomes compared to normal, easy exercise leading to a better quality of life. Our goal is to test how stable heart failure patients respond to 8 weeks of high intensity interval training. Functional outcomes and quality of life will be assessed throughout the study. This program may improve physiological and clinical outcomes and lower health care costs.

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What is the context of this research?

Heart failure is a serious condition, commonly caused by the inability of the heart to contract properly. It is a significant health care issue in the United States, with total cost of care of about $30.7 billion yearly. About 5.7 million people in the United States (≥20 years) have heart failure. Thus, there is a great need in creating successful interventions to mitigate these costs. One successful way to improve outcome in these patients and reduce health care costs is cardiac rehabilitation, which involves regular aerobic exercise training. I would like to implement high-intense exercise training in heart failure patients over an 8 week period to demonstrate that this type of training may change the current standard of care and improve outcome.

What is the significance of this project?

This project has the potential to change the current scientific dogma so that high intensity exercise will be the future standard of care in these patients.Current guidelines support moderate intensity exercise training in heart failure (HF) patients since there is a 15% reduction in cardiovascular mortality compared to controls. However, high intensity exercise may be a promising strategy. In a meta-analysis of 277 individuals with cardiometabolic disease (one or more of coronary artery disease, HF, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome), aerobic capacity increased by 20%( That improvement of fitness can reduce health care costs by 10% (

What are the goals of the project?

One of the major goals of this project is to show that a study like this is feasible to accomplish. We also wish to demonstrate that functional outcomes and quality of life are greater when performing regular high intensity exercise for 8 weeks compared to performing low intensity / moderate exercise for 8 weeks in patients with heart failure. Finally, we wish to present this pilot data for a much larger grant application.

Data collection is expected to start January, 2017, and completed by July, 2017. We will randomize 24 subjects into 2 groups; a high intensity or moderate intensity group. Subjects will undergo a series of heart and lung tests during baseline and then again after 8 weeks of exercise training.


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I have already a grant from the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute / and Georgia State University. I need extra funding here to purchase the bikes and to rent the room at Grady Hospital so that the patients can exercise at the hospital in a safe environment. I'm out of funds for this.

The data from this study will allow me to obtain pilot data so that I am able to apply for grant funding. I wish to conduct a much larger clinical trial in the future.

Endorsed by

Dr. Zavorsky is working on a much needed area of study in determining the need for high intensity training in heart failure. This information is critical in assisting the long term health of heart failure patients.

Meet the Team

Gerald Zavorsky
Gerald Zavorsky
Associate Professor, Department of Respiratory Therapy, Georgia State University

Gerald Zavorsky

I am from Montreal, Canada, but I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been interested in exercise-related research since my undergraduate days. I was a competitive runner back then and I competed in the 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials in the 800-m. My love for running brought me to study exercise physiology related topics and I have been conducting many studies since then. I have published more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles: (

My education is as follows:

PhD, 2001, University of British Columbia

MA, 1997, McGill University

BEd, 1995, McGill University

My personal best running times is as follows:

800-m, 1:52:10, 1995

1000-m, 2:28:65, 1995

1500-m, 3:57.4, 1999

5-km, 15:02, 1996

10-km, 32:19, 1999

Half-marathon, 1:14:20, 2001

Marathon, 2:47:33, 2002

I am a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine (ID 538353) and I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM). I am also a Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT) with the National Board for Respiratory Care.

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Project Backers

  • 2Backers
  • 1%Funded
  • $14Total Donations
  • $7.00Average Donation
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