Efficacy of supervised cardiac rehabilitation programs for coronary patients: Update 1986 to 1990

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Abstract

Cardiac rehabilitation programs provide a well-established mechanism to improve physical work capacity in most individuals after myocardial infarction (MI). Supervised exercise training may also benefit certain patients after coronary bypass surgery or patients with chronic stable angina or a variety of disorders of left ventricular (LV) contractile function. Conversely, exercise-based programs continue to have a controversial role in improving psychosocial function after coronary events. Coronary blood flow or myocardial perfusion appears to improve in cardiac rehabilitation patients only under unusual circumstances. In the past 5 years, new information has surfaced that strengthens the case for cardiac rehabilitation in some categories of coronary patients. The cumulative data suggest that exercise- based rehabilitation programs can prolong life after MI, especially in moderate risk to high-risk middle-aged men. Several recent reports also affirm the training potential of coronary patients with severe LV dysfunction or aneurysm. Efforts to predict success or failure of rehabilitation programs, however, have been largely unsuccessful, and at least one report indicated that some categories of post-MI patients may suffer deterioration of LV performance due to exercise training begun shortly after infarction. Additional research continues to be justified to clarify how to select patients likely to benefit from exercise treatments, when to begin and conclude exercise treatments after a coronary event, the appropriate role of cardiac rehabilitation in certain groups of patients such as women and the elderly, and the role of innovative rehabilitation strategies, such as home- based programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
Volume11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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