Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall, author of Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report newsletter, is chief of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He practices interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology. Dr. Crandall received his post-graduate training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division. Dr. Crandall regularly lectures nationally and internationally on preventive cardiology, cardiology healthcare of the elderly, healing, interventional cardiology, and heart transplants. Known as the “Christian physician,” Dr. Crandall has been heralded for his values and message of hope to all his heart patients.

Tags: benefits of cardiac rehab | cardiac rehab underused | cardiac rehab and recurrent heart attacks | Dr. Chauncey Crandall | cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehab Works

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 08:57 AM

Participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program can decrease the risk of a recurrent heart attack and death. But a new analysis shows that only one-fifth of the patients who could benefit are being referred.

According to Vera Bittner, M.D., who gave a presentation at the American College of Cardiology’s 2012 Scientific session, 15 percent of men and 22 percent of women ages 45 to 64 — and 22 percent of all people over 65 — who have suffered a heart attack will suffer another heart attack.

However, a recent analysis shows those who attended a cardiac rehab program had a 35 percent lower risk of death.

Previous research had shown a nearly 80 percent survival rate after three years for those who participated in cardiac rehab, compared to 64 percent for those who did not. This included a 25 percent reduction in risk of suffering another heart attack.

“This is on par or better than what we traditionally achieve with medications,” noted Bittner.

She added, however, that the biggest barrier to a patient enrolling in cardiac rehab is lack of physician referral.

“I don’t think there is a full appreciation within the medical community for how much the contemporary cardiac rehab program does and how much of an impact it has on mortality and morbidity,” Bittner said.

A typical cardiac rehab program consists of 36 sessions during a 12-week period, and includes lifestyle counseling, medication education, increasing functional capacity through exercise, and learning how to evaluate and reduce stress. Most insurers and Medicare cover cardiac rehab.

If you’ve had a heart attack or have undergone bypass surgery or stenting, definitely discuss enrolling in a program with your doctor.

© HealthDay

 
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Participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program can decrease the risk of a recurrent heart attack and death, but a new analysis shows that only one-fifth of the patients who could benefit are being referred.
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Wednesday, 02 May 2012 08:57 AM
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