Effect of cardiac rehabilitation on functional outcomes after coronary revascularization

Sara K. Pasquali, Karen P. Alexander, Laura P. Coombs, Barbara L. Lytle, Eric D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background: Current guidelines recommending cardiac rehabilitation (CR) after coronary revascularization are largely based on early studies that evaluated only a subset of the population and failed to assess the impact of CR on a patient's perception of their functional status. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of CR in a diverse contemporary population on patient functional outcomes. Methods: We studied the effect of CR on 6-month SP-36 Physical Functioning (PF) in 700 patients (mean age 67 ± 11 years, 37% women) who underwent coronary bypass grafting or percutaneous intervention from August 1998 to July 2000. Results: Overall CR participation was 24%. At baseline, CR participants had higher PF (mean 62.5 vs 52.5, P < .001). After adjusting for baseline clinical variables and PF score, CR was associated with significant improvement in 6-month PF (+5.0, 95% CI 1.0-9.0). This improvement was observed in all patient subgroups, but tended to be greater in magnitude in men versus women, patients aged <70 years versus ≥70 years, and patients with coronary bypass grafting versus patients with percutaneous intervention. CR participants also tended to be more likely to engage in regular exercise (63% vs 55%, P = .06) and modify their diet (82% vs 73%, P = .07). Rates of rehospitalization and repeat revascularization were similar among CR participants and nonparticipants. Conclusions: CR after coronary revascularization is associated with improved functional outcomes and adoption of secondary preventive measures. Innovative strategies to facilitate CR enrollment and tailoring programs to better address the needs of all patient subgroups would extend these benefits to more eligible patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican heart journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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