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Mayo Clinic: Heart patients fare better in 3-year program
Date:6/4/2008

eight to be the most change-resistant variable in efforts to promote heart health.

Significance of the Mayo Research

The findings are important because heart disease is the number one cause of death and disability in the U.S - and though many people survive due to advances in medical care, many patients and physicians don't realize the importance of cardiac rehabilitation in extending survival benefits. Mayo researchers developed the disease manager model of cardiac rehabilitation to extend the lifesaving benefits modern medicine offers, and spare patients the trauma and the expense of repeat surgeries and hospitalizations, says lead researcher Ray Squires, Ph.D.

"Earlier studies indicate that under traditional approaches, most patients don't comply with treatment recommendations, including taking medications and modifying their lifestyle. We need to change that," Dr. Squires says. For example, he says that during 2004 in Minnesota, 38 percent of coronary heart disease patients received optimal care for controlling heart attack prevention. The goals of heart attack prevention for patients with coronary heart disease in the Minnesota survey included:

  • Achieving a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter
  • Lowering blood pressure to less than 140 systolic and 90 diastolic
  • Taking a daily aspirin to help prevent blood clots
  • Quitting smoking
"This suggests the remaining 62 percent of Minnesota coronary heart disease patients in 2004 remained at higher risk of further heart problems," Dr. Squires says. "Our feeling is that medical science can offer more people better methods for living a heart-healthy - and longer - life. We designed our cardiac rehabilitation program to do that. Using the disease manager model, we have demonstrated that three years of intervention in routine clinical practice was generally effective in achieving secondary
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Contact: Traci Klein
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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