Features February 2008 Issue

Cardiac Rehabilitation Can Help Extend Your Life

The combination of dietary quality, weight management, and exercise can help you recuperate and control cardiac risk factors.

Youíve had a heart attack or some type of cardiac surgery. What should your next step be? For most patients, the answer is a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program. But only a small percentage of cardiac patients actually participate in CR. Among Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older who have had a heart attack or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), fewer than 20 percent were in a CR program, according to a study in the Oct. 9 issue of Circulation, the American Heart Association journal. "We have documented benefits from CR equivalent to any other medication management treatment thatís out there. It provides a longevity benefit, as well as a quality benefit," says Gordon Blackburn, PhD, program director of the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic.

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