Keep it Pumping with Cardiac Rehab - Text Version


Keep It Pumping

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help improve the cardiovascular health of patients who suffer from heart failure or have has a heart attack, heart surgery or angioplasty.

  • Cardiac rehabilitation includes exercise training, education on heart-healthy living and counseling to reduce stress

A New Beat

Research shows cardiac rehabilitation can prevent second cardiac events and improve quality of life.

  • Reduces cardiovascular disease mortality by nearly 30% (1)
  • Helps patients quit smoking, eat better and lose weight (2)
  • Helps patients return to work & better engage in activities of daily living (or daily activities). (3)
  • Helps improve adherence to preventive medications (4, 5)
  • Reduces hospital readmissions by 31% 1-year post-discharge

Meeting Resistance

However, most patients who could benefit aren’t receiving this care.

  • Fewer than 20% of eligible patients participate (6, 7)
  • Older and sicker patients, women, & minority populations are less likely to participate (8, 9, 10, 11)
  • Reasons for low participation include: (12, 13, 14)
    • Lack of a referral from the patient’s doctor
    • Inadequate or no health insurance coverage
    • Conflicts with work or home responsibilities
    • Distance and transportation
    • Lack of program availability
    • Lack of social support


  • Help expand access to cardiac rehabilitation. Visit


1) Dunlay, SM et al. 2014. Participation in cardiac rehabilitation, readmissions, and death after acute myocardial infarction.The American journal of medicine. 127.6: 538-546

2) Core Components of Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Programs. Core Components of Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Programs. Available at: Accessed January 2016.

3)Stephens MB. Cardiac rehabilitation. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Nov 1;80(9):955-959.

4) Suaya, JA., et al. Cardiac rehabilitation and survival in older coronary patients. J Am Coll Cardiol.2009. 54(1): 25-33.

5) Benz S, et al. Effect of Patient Navigation on Enrollment in Cardiac Rehabilitation. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(3):244-246. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.1042.

6) Hammill, BG.Relationship between cardiac rehabilitation and long-term risks of death and myocardial infarction among elderly Medicare beneficiaries.Circulation.2009. 121(1): 63-70.

7) Suaya, JA., et al. Use of cardiac rehabilitation by Medicare beneficiaries after myocardial infarction or coronary bypass surgery. Circulation.2007.116.15: 1653-1662.

8) Colella, JF, et al. Sex bias in referral of women to outpatient cardiac rehabilitation? Ameta-analysis.Europeanjournal of preventive cardiology.2014. 2047487314520783.

9) Menezes, A R., et al. Gender, race and cardiac rehabilitation in the United States: Is there a difference in care?.The American journal of the medical sciences .2014.348.2: 146-152.

10) Suaya, JA., et al. Use of cardiac rehabilitation by Medicare beneficiaries after myocardial infarction or coronary bypass surgery. Circulation.2007.116.15: 1653-1662.

11) Brown TM, et al.,  Predictors of cardiac rehabilitation referral in coronary artery disease patients: findings from the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Program. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;54:515–521.

12) Community Surveillance Event Rates. Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study Web site. php?pg_id=37. Accessed February 8, 2015.

13) Sanderson BK, et al., Factors associated with the failure of patients to complete cardiac rehabilitation for medical and nonmedical reasons. J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2003;23:281–289.

14) Pack, Q R., et al. The current and potential capacity for cardiac rehabilitation utilization in the United States. Journal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention.2014. 34.5: 318-326.

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