All entries tagged with “rehab”
In the early days of cardiology, patients with heart disease were advised to rest for weeks to months after a heart attack. In the 1960s the prevailing theory was challenged and the modern concept of cardiac rehabilitation was begun.
In the modern era, cardiac rehab is a 12 week structured exercise program that is put on by the hospitals. It is covered by most insurance plans within 1 year of the cardiac event. It focuses on aerobic exercise with close monitoring of the heart rate, blood pressure and symptoms to allow the cardiac the patient the opportunity to gradually increase exercise. It also places a heavy emphasis on education of the patients with regard to preventing future heart problems through lifestyle changes.
A recent study out of the Mayo Clinic looked at over 2000 patients who had stents placed in blocked arteries. The patients were followed for an average of 6 years. Some of the patients enrolled in cardiac rehab (40%) and some did not.
Over the follow up period, the patients who enrolled in cardiac rehab enjoyed a whopping 50% decrease in the risk of dying. This held true for men, women, old and young patients.
The take home message from this study is clear- that patients should enroll in cardiac rehabilitation programs after having a stent placed. Unfortunately, the majority (60% in this study) of patients do not take advantage of this opportunity. The reasons for this are not clear but why miss out on a "free" 50% reduction in mortality?