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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

ng the savings in lives and costs that cardiac rehabilitation offers heart patients. "Many studies demonstrate that cardiac rehabilitation is extremely beneficial to patients, and the data also show that cardiac rehab is vastly underutilized," says Randal Thomas, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic.

To improve the referral of patients to cardiac rehabilitation programs and to stimulate high-quality care in cardiac rehabilitation centers, Dr. Thomas recently helped draft new national performance measures. Adding a disease manager into this approach extends the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation, in his view. "The kind of cardiac rehabilitation program we'd like to see serves not only as a coach for the patient, but also as a key communicator in patient care, and a coordinator with other health care providers. When all those roles are filled, it's likely that patients get the follow-up care they need," Dr. Thomas says.

About the Study

Mayo's study is based on a review of the clinical progress made by 503 heart patients at Mayo treated under a long-term management model led by cardiac rehabilitation experts. Patients entered the rehabilitation program in 1999 and 2000. Of the patients, 54 percent were 65 years or older. All had suffered some form of acute cardiac event, such as a heart attack, or had undergone heart surgery.

Collaboration and Support

Other members of the research team are Aura Montero-Gomez, M.D., and Thomas Allison, Ph.D. Their work was supported by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to http://www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com (http://www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.


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SOURCE Mayo Clinic Public Affairs
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