Cardiac rehabilitation can reduce mortality and morbidity for patients with many types of cardiac disease cost-effectively, yet is generally underutilized. Rehabilitation is helpful not only for patients who have had a myocardial infarction but also for those with stable angina or congestive heart failure or those who have undergone myocardial revascularization procedures, a heart transplant or heart valve surgery. The beneficial effects of rehabilitation include a reduction in the rate of death from cardiovascular disease, improved exercise tolerance, fewer cardiac symptoms, improved lipid levels, decreased cigarette smoking, improvement in psychosocial well-being and increased likelihood of return to work. Rehabilitation involves a multidisciplinary team that focuses on education, individually tailored exercise, risk-factor modification and the optimization of functional status and mental health. Current research trends in this area include the evaluation of new secondary-prevention modalities and alternative program options, such as home-based rehabilitation.
- Copyright © 1997 by Canadian Medical Association