Clinical Findings and Return to Work After Heart Valve Replacement
E Pere, M Saraste, M Inberg, M Arstila, I Vuori, V Kallio
One hundred and thirteen patients operated during the years 1971 to 1976, were re-examined at an average of 26.3 months after heart valve replacement. The functional capacity assessed by the NYHA-classification improved in about 40% of the patients. About 80% considered their symptoms and well-being to have improved after the operation. At the re-examination, heart size was most often enlarged in patients with mitral valve replacement. The average work load measured in bicycle ergometer test was higher in patients with aortic valve replacement compared to those with mitral valve replacement. Patients with aortic valve replacements were working more often (54%) than those with mitral valve replacements (37%). The mean age of patients who were working was significantly lower than in patients who were retired. There was a statistically significant relation between the physical working capacity and the working status. The employability assessed by history and clinical findings corresponded well to the actual work situation in individual patients.
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