Heart Beat: October 2023


More Evidence That Cardiac Rehab Saves Lives

Participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program is recommended following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), yet only a percentage of patients do. A recent study of outcomes following CABG published in the June 29 Annals of Thoracic Surgery found that those who participate are more likely to be alive two years later than those who skip the program. Researchers looked at nearly 6,500 Medicare beneficiaries (mean age 71) who underwent CABG from January 2015 to September 2019. Only 60% enrolled in cardiac rehab within one year following their surgery. The average length of participation was 12 sessions: Only 12% of enrollees completed all 36 recommended sessions. After analyzing outcomes, the researchers found the two-year mortality rate was far lower for those who participated in cardiac rehab (3.7%) than for those who did not (13.1%). Those who attended all 36 sessions had a lower mortality rate (2.7%) than those who attended up to 12 sessions (5.2%).

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