Norfolk County Cardiologist Association

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

AHA Recommendation.

The principles of cardiovascular rehabilitation apply to patients who have congenital or acquired heart disease. Often these patients have been hospitalized for heart attack or surgery. These principles include...

· Counseling the patient about his or her understanding of the disease process and its management.

· Beginning an exercise program. Random trials consistently show a survival benefit for those enrolled in a rehabilitation program.

· Helping the patient alter or modify risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes. Evidence suggests that improving the plasma lipid and lipoprotein profile with diet, exercise and drug therapy benefits patients. And those who quit smoking significantly reduce their risks of another heart attack, sudden death, stroke and total mortality compared with those who continue to smoke.

· Providing vocational guidance to enable the patient to return to work.

· Supplying information on physical limitations.

· Lending emotional support.

· Patients who enter cardiac rehab programs should be assessed for depressive or anxiety disorders, sexual dysfunction, excessive distress/stress, dependence and inadequate social support.

· The long-term success of any secondary prevention program is directly related to patient compliance.