Cardio Rehab Helps Survival
People who have post-heart attack rehabilitation programs have a 59 percent greater chance of survival than those who don’t have such programs, researchers have found.
But participation in those programs is low, according to Steven W. Lichtman, EdD, president of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) and director of cardiopulmonary outpatient services at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y. Cardiac rehab programs involve supervised exercised, supportive counseling and guided lifestyle changes.
Lichtman outlined the findings at a healthcare meeting, EuroPRevent, in Dublin.
He said that after studying the Medicare claims of 267, 427 patients who were hospitalized for heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction, only 13.9 percent had undergone rehabilitation programs.
That figure came from an analysis of a 2007 study published in “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.” Lichtman’s analysis of another study, published in 2009 by the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology,” found that the survival rate of patients who had cardiac rehabilitation was 59 percent higher than those who didn’t.
The heart illnesses for which Medicare will reimburse patients include myocardial infarcation, chronic stable angina, CABG, percutaneous coronary interventions, valve surgery, and heart transplantation.