Long-term Results of a 12-Week Comprehensive Ambulatory Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

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PURPOSE:To evaluate the long-term outcome of a 12-week outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program.METHODS:In a prospective single-center interventional cohort study, 201 consecutive patients (133 patients after acute coronary syndrome, 32 patients after heart surgery, and 36 patients with heart failure) attending a 12-week comprehensive outpatient CR program were evaluated for exercise capacity, cardiovascular risk factors (CvRFs), and quality of life at entry, end, and 1.4 years after completion of the program (followup).RESULTS:Physical exercise capacity improved significantly from program entry to program end and remained at this level at followup (P ≤ .006). CvRFs at followup were significantly reduced with regard to smoking prevalence and blood lipids (P < .001). At program end and followup, MacNew heart disease–specific emotional, physical, and social quality of life were improved significantly compared with those at program entry (P < .001). Use of cardioprotective medication remained equally high over the entire study period. However, significantly fewer patients reached blood pressure (<140/90 mm Hg, P = .034) and body mass index (<30 kg/m2, P = .017) goals at followup than at program end.CONCLUSION:The 12-week comprehensive outpatient CR program was successful at reducing important CvRFs long-term.

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