Is cardiac rehabilitation still relevant in the new millennium?

Laura E Dobson, Robert J Lewin, Patrick Joseph Doherty, Phillip D Batin, Simon Megarry, Christopher P Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac rehabilitation is an evidence-based intervention which has evolved over time and incorporates physical, psycho-social and educational components with the aim of improving the patients' functioning following a cardiac event. The evidence base for cardiac rehabilitation following acute myocardial infarction has been growing over the past half a century. Individual randomized control trials were small and, therefore, mortality outcomes usually failed to reach significance; however, meta-analyses have proven consistently that participation in cardiac rehabilitation following a myocardial infarction is associated with a significant improvement in mortality. In the era of revascularization and improved drug therapies, observational studies still provide evidence that independent of other treatments, cardiac rehabilitation is a life-saving measure. Although early studies often only studied young males, more contemporary data include patients from all sectors of society and have found that groups such as women, the elderly and those with heart failure appear to have greater mortality benefits compared with the traditional young male cohort. Uptake remains a problem and one challenge for the future is ensuring improved uptake on to good-quality rehabilitation programmes and demonstrating these positive effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiovascular medicine (Hagerstown, Md.)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

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