This site is intended for health professionals only

Eligible patients not given cardiac rehabilitation

An estimated seven out of 10 eligible patients in the UK don’t receive cardiac rehabilitation despite its confirmed benefits in preventing further ill health and death, reveals a review published ahead of print in the journal Heart.

Cardiac rehabilitation includes some or all of a mixture of lifestyle advice on reducing known risk factors for heart problems; exercise training; physical activity programmes; and counselling.

As part of an integrated treatment programme, it reduces the risk of death and further ill health and improves quality of life by slowing disease progression and reducing the severity of troubling symptoms.

Research shows that those aged 65 and older who undertake cardiac rehabilitation programmes have death rates up to a third of those who are not part of such programmes.

It is also very cost effective, coming in at around £500 per person, which compares favourably with the costs of hospital admission.

But programmes are frequently under-funded and too rigid, say the authors, with cardiac rehabilitation rarely seen as “an important component of contemporary comprehensive cardiac care.”