High-intensity training in patients with lacunar stroke: A one-year follow-up

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 735 KB, PDF document

Objectives: Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for stroke. It is a challenge for patients to initiate and adhere to regular exercise post-stroke. Early initiation of home-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may engage patients in physical activity, improve cardiorespiratory fitness, and reduce risk of recurrent stroke. Materials and Methods: Post-intervention follow-up of patients with lacunar stroke, randomized to three-months HIIT including weekly motivational calls, or usual care. At follow-up (six- and 12-months post-stroke), we investigated changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, fatigue, depression, mental well-being, stress, cognition, cardiovascular function, and recurrent stroke. Results: We included 71 patients of whom 59 patients (mean age: 63.9 ± 8.8 years) completed six- and 12-month follow-up. No change was detected in cardiorespiratory fitness between groups from baseline to 12-months follow-up. At six months, vigorous-intensity activity (median hours/week [interquartile range]) was maintained in the intervention group (baseline, 0[0;2]; post-intervention, 2[0;3]; six-month, 2[0;4]) and increased in the usual care group (baseline, 0[0;1]; post-intervention, 1[0;2]; six-month, 1[0;3]), with no difference between groups. Vigorous-intensity activity declined to baseline levels at 12-months in both groups. Secondary outcomes improved from baseline to 12-months with no significant differences between groups. Similar rate of recurrent stroke (n=3) occurred in each group with a three-month delay in the intervention group. Conclusions: Early initiated HIIT did not increase long-term cardiorespiratory fitness, but increased time spent doing vigorous-intensity activities post-stroke. Decline to baseline activity level at 12 months warrants identification of motivators to initiate and sustain physical activity post-stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106973
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number4
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness, High-intensity-interval-training, Lacunar stroke, Long-term follow-up, Physical activity, Secondary stroke prevention, Stroke recurrence

ID: 334264089