Cardiac rehab is a team effort. A team of health professionals works one-on-one with each patient to tailor a lifestyle program. Their goal is to improve a patient’s life physically, mentally and socially. We recommend cardiac rehab for patients with:
- Recent heart attack
- PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention), also called angioplasty
- Bypass surgery
- Stable angina
- Heart failure (eligible patients with ejection fraction less than 35 percent)
- Heart transplant
- Heart valve disease
- Vascular disease
Does cardiac rehab work?
Research shows that cardiac rehab programs help participants live longer. It can also help prevent future heart attacks and admissions to the hospital. Organizations for health professionals recognize cardiac rehab as the standard of care.
In 2016, we had 38 patients complete the full cardiac rehabilitation program. The charts below, based on data we report to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation registry, show the benefits to these patients.
High blood pressure is a serious health problem. It can lead to other issues, including organ failure, heart disease and stroke. You learn two numbers when your blood pressure is checked. The top number is the systolic pressure. This is the pressure when the heart beats. Optimal systolic blood pressure is less than 120. Cardiac rehab can help bring blood pressure into a healthy range.
The six-minute walk test measures how far you can walk in six minutes. It gives your doctor an idea of how much physical activity you can handle. Patients may have this test before and after rehab programs to measure improvement. Walking longer distance for six minutes is better. Cardiac rehab can help patients live more active lives.
The purpose of cardiac rehab is to improve patients’ physical and emotional well-being. Patients fill out the Patient Health Questionnaire before and after rehab. The higher score is better. The results show that rehab helps improve the quality of life for patients with heart problems.
The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) University of Kentucky Institutional Outcomes Report for year 2016.