An American study group investigated how participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs affected health status outcomes after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and found that there was no difference between participants and non-participants in disease-specific and generic health status during the year after AMI.
Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a key element in the treatment and secondary prevention after AMI so much so, that the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology both highly recommend it after AMI. Research has shown that CR reduces mortality, but there is little evidence as to how CR affects health status (quality of life, patient’s symptoms, function, etc.).
40.9% of the patients participated in CR. Participants in a higher proportion were white, male, employed full-time, had health insurance coverage for medication, and were treated with coronary revascularisation. They were also healthier and less likely to smoke. Furthermore, in both those who participated in CR and those who didn`t, health status significantly improved during the year after AMI. However, health status scores after 6 and 12 months did not differ between participants and non-participants. On the other hand, participants had a 41% lower hazard rate of mortality during the 7 years of follow-up.
It seems that there was no difference between participants and non-participants in either the disease-specific or the generic health status scores, while they did differ in mortality rates. Further research is needed to better improve the health status benefits of CR programs.
Written By: Dr. Fanni R. Eros