Clinical Research Study| Volume 131, ISSUE 8, P967-971, August 2018

Outcomes in a Community-Based Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program: Comparison with Hospital-Based and Academic Programs



      The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a community-based intensive cardiac rehabilitation program could produce positive changes in risk factor profile and outcomes in an at-risk population.


      Participants seeking either primary or secondary coronary artery disease prevention voluntarily enrolled in the 12-week intensive cardiac rehabilitation program. Data were obtained at baseline and 6-12 months after completion of the program.


      A total of 142 individuals, mean age 69 years, completed the Heart Series between 2012 and 2016. Follow-up data were available in 105 participants (74%). Participants showed statistically significant improvements in mean weight (165 to 162 lbs, P = .0005), body mass index (26 to 25 kg/m2, P = .001), systolic blood pressure (126 to 122 mm Hg, P = .01), diastolic blood pressure (73 to 70 mm Hg, P = .0005), total cholesterol (175 to 168 mg/dL, P = .03), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (100 to 93 mg/dL, P = .005), LDL-C/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio (1.8 to 1.6, P = .005), and cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (3.2 to 3.0, P = .003). Changes in HDL-C, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose did not reach statistical significance, but all trended in favorable directions. Adverse cardiovascular disease outcomes were rare (one stent placement, no deaths).


      A total of 105 participants completed our 12-week community-based intensive cardiac rehabilitation program and showed significant positive changes in several measures of cardiac risk, with only 1 adverse event. These results compare favorably with those of hospital-based and academic institutional programs.


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