, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 77-85
Date: 14 Dec 2006

Long-term results of a three-week intensive cardiac out-patient rehabilitation program in motivated patients with low social status

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The study group of 327 patients (288 men, 39 women, aged 56.0±10.8 years, coronary artery disease in 295, other cardiac diseases in 32) participated in a 3- week CR programme followed by clinical re-evaluations 6 (III), 12 (IV) an 24 (V) months later.


The improvement in mean maximal performance of 100.5±31.4 to 123.1±36.2 W (p<0.01) achieved during CR was further improved to 128.7±40.9 W (p < 0,01) after 24 months. Of the patients, 61.2% reported regular physical activity during the 24 months of the study. The lipid management achieved by CR was maintained over 24 month. At I 65%, at II 84.4% and at V 82.4% of the patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) were undergoing lipid lowering therapy. BMI increased from 26.8±3.0 to 27.6±3.6 kg/m2 (p < 0.01) during follow-up. Of the patients, 23.2% were active smokers at V. Cardiovascular diagnosis remained unaltered in 74.3% of patients. The obtained results are interesting with respect to the social status of the patients since 68% were general laborers. The results confirm the long-term effectiveness of an intensive 3-week out-patient CR programme. Most of the benefits achieved by CR appear to be sustainable in this population for at least 2 years.