Cochrane for Clinicians
Putting Evidence into Practice
Impact of Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation
Am Fam Physician. 2016 Dec 1;94(11):881-882.
Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.
Does exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in persons with coronary heart disease affect morbidity and mortality?
Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation reduces cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization. There is no evidence that it reduces the rates of total mortality, myocardial infarctions, coronary artery bypass grafts, or percutaneous coronary interventions.1 (Strength of Recommendation: B, based on lower-quality clinical trials or studies with inconsistent findings.)
Although modern medical and surgical management allows patients with coronary heart disease to live longer than ever before, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States.2 Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation has been suggested as a modality to reduce morbidity and mortality in this growing population. The authors of this review sought to evaluate the effect of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation on morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease.1
This Cochrane review identified 63 randomized controlled trials comparing exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation with usual care (e.g., education, medical management) in 14,486 patients with coronary heart disease.1 Most participants had experienced a myocardial infarction and/or a revascularization procedure, and the mean ages of patients across studies ranged from 48 to 71 years. The quality of the trials ranged from low to moderate, with a lack of adequate reporting on methodology in many trials. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation reduced cardiovascular mortality (number needed to treat [NNT] = 36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 27 to 64) and overall risk of hospital admissions (NNT = 22; 95% CI, 11 to 81) compared with control. There was no reduction in the rate of myocardial infarctions, total mortality, coronary artery bypass grafts, or percutaneous coronary interventions.
The authors did not pool the data for health-related quality of life. They
REFERENCESshow all references
1. Anderson L, Thompson DR, Oldridge N, et al. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;(1):CD001800....
2. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FastStats: heart disease. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/heart-disease.htm. Accessed March 22, 2016.
3. Fleg JL, Forman DE, Berra K, et al.; American Heart Association Committees on Older Populations and Exercise Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention of the Council on Clinical Cardiology, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health. Secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in older adults: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;128(22):2422–2446.
4. Mezzani A, Hamm LF, Jones AM, et al. Aerobic exercise intensity assessment and prescription in cardiac rehabilitation: a joint position statement of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013;20(3):442–467.
These are summaries of reviews from the Cochrane Library.
This series is coordinated by Corey D. Fogleman, MD, Assistant Medical Editor.
A collection of Cochrane for Clinicians published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/cochrane.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact email@example.com for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions