Cardiac Rehab

Friday, July 09, 2010

One of the most underused treatments for heart patients may also be one of the most effective. Dr. Edward Hill discusses cardiac rehabilitation in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The longer patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs following heart-related hospitalizations, the better they fared, but not many people are currently taking advantage of the opportunity.

The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to slow or even reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease by educating patients about their disease and having them follow a medically supervised exercise program.

Sessions are typically held two or three times a week for several months after a heart-related hospital discharge, but only about 10 to 20 percent of patients who could benefit from the programs actually attend them.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 30,000 heart patients who had participated in at least one cardiac rehabilitation session between 2000 and 2005.

Over roughly four years of follow-up, patients who attended 36 sessions were 47 percent less likely to die and 31 percent less likely to have a heart attack as patients who attended just one and 22 percent less likely to die and 23 percent less likely to have a heart attack than patients who attended 12 sessions.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.