Therefore, a two-phase systematic review was conducted aiming to identify the eligibility criteria used to select patients with COPD, asthma or ILD and cardiovascular comorbidities to exercise programmes, to assess the impact of exercise on cardiovascular outcomes and to identify how exercise programmes were tailored to cardiovascular comorbidities.
PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane were searched. Three reviewers extracted the data and two reviewers independently assessed the quality of studies with the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Phase 1 identified the eligibility criteria that have been used to select patients with cardiovascular comorbidities in clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of exercise programmes. Phase 2 assessed the impact of exercise training on cardiovascular outcomes and identified how the exercise programmes have been tailored to patients’ cardiovascular comorbidities.
180 studies were included in phase 1 and 42 in phase 2. In phase 1 it was found that most studies (58.9%) excluded patients with both stable and unstable cardiovascular comorbidities. In phase 2, only 26 studies reported to assess cardiovascular outcomes and resting heart rate was the most reported outcome measure. The majority of the studies (71.4%) presented only small to moderate effects in the cardiovascular outcome measures reported. No specific adjustments to exercise prescription were described.