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Heart Patients More Likely to Adopt Healthy Habits in 3-Year Program Led by Cardiac Rehabilitation Experts, Mayo Clinic Research Shows
Date:6/4/2008

ROCHESTER, Minn., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People recovering from acute heart problems such as heart attack and heart surgery are more likely to develop habits to control heart attack risk factors when they meet regularly with cardiac "disease managers," according to researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. These managers are nonphysician cardiac rehabilitation specialists who lead long-term follow-up programs that last three years. With these risk factors under control, heart patients are likely to live longer and have fewer heart problems, the Mayo researchers conclude.

The Mayo Clinic researchers studied the effects of a long-term cardiac disease manager model on 503 patients involved in cardiac rehabilitation. Their findings appear in The Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, (http://www.jcrjournal.com/pt/re/jcardiorehab/abstract.01273116-200805000-0 0004.htm;jsessionid=LF6LdjP3QQ81SY2PjTbLQ9Tn1rGbBr5yszv1vyq6chS8wfhl1pgy!63 4347399!181195628!8091!-1). The disease manager's role was to monitor the patient's status, and to coach the patients in adopting heart attack prevention behaviors. At each meeting, the following factors were assessed and management strategies were discussed: blood lipid levels, blood pressure and body weight, tobacco use, cardiac medication compliance, exercise regimen and physical activity, nutrition and cardiopulmonary symptoms. After initial rehabilitation training about risk factor management, each patient met with a trained disease manager every three to six months for three years.

Their report demonstrates:

-- It is feasible to provide long-term disease management to heart patients in an outpatient setting. Mayo's model calls for trained cardiac rehabilitation specialists to function as disease managers who maintain a relationship with the patients and meet face-to-face every t
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic Public Affairs
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