American College of Cardiology: Cardiac Rehab Saves Lives

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Heart FailureIn honor of Heart Health Month, Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center is pleased to present this important information about cardiac rehabilitation.

According to a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation saves lives, but too few people enroll in this critical intervention.

The American Heart Association notes that nearly 2.5 million Americans would benefit from cardiac rehab each year. This includes nearly one million people who have undergone angioplasty (more formally known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI); nearly 750,000 people who were hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, an umbrella term that includes heart attacks, and 500,000 people newly diagnosed with heart failure.

The report states that cardiac rehab not only reduces mortality, it also allows for more rapid recovery, improves quality of life, and decreases the risk of a second heart attack. The report cites studies showing that participation in cardiac rehab reduces hospital readmission by 20 to 30% in the year after a cardiac event.

With such impressive results, one would think the cardiac rehab would be standard follow-up for those with cardiac conditions. But it is not. Referrals to cardiac rehab are as low as 12% for patients discharged from the hospital with conditions that qualify for rehabilitaton.

If the rate of enrollment in cardiac rehab was even 70%, the report estimates that 25,000 deaths and 180,000 hospitalizations could be avoided each year.

The American Heart Association report encourages enrolling in cardiac rehab within the first 21 days after a cardiac incident, and attending at least 36 sessions to maximize the benefits of the program.

It also points out that a program in which the referring health care provider is in communication with the rehab facility, as is the standard at At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, is something that all cardiac rehab programs “are encouraged to ideally achieve.”

If you or a loved one has had a cardiac event, be sure to maximize the chance of full recovery. Contact us by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here

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