There is robust clinical evidence demonstrating the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation including:
Reduction in cardiac and all cause mortality by 26% and 20% respectively.Based on meta-analyses, mortality is reduced in individuals that partake in a CR programme. The most recent meta-analysis identifies a 26% reduction in cardiac mortality and a 20% reduction in all cause mortality.
Improvement in aerobic exercise capacity.
An improvement in exercise tolerance is one of the most clearly established benefits of CR. This applies to patients with a wide variety of clinical presentations including angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, patients following CABG surgery and PTCA.
Reduction in cardiovascular risk factors.
CR has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol (if exercise is maintained), assist in weight control in conjunction with a healthy diet, help regulate blood sugar levels and assist in maintaining a normal blood pressure.
Delayed progression of disease.
Improvement in Myocardial Perfusion
A number of studies have demonstrated that CR significantly increases myocardial blood flow and myocardial perfusion in patients with IHD.
Improvement in symptoms.
CR has been shown to improve symptoms of Angina in patients with IHD and decrease symptoms of heart failure in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfuntion.
Improved psychological and psychosocial well-being.
CR exercise has been shown to improve psychological well being, with significant decreases in anxiety and depression noted. These benefits are not observed from exercise alone but in combination with stress management and psychological counselling. Reductions in hostility and emotional distress have also been noted.