- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Military veterans who did home-based cardiac rehabilitation were 36% less likely to die within four years compared with vets who opted out of the program, a new study finds. A customized program of education and exercise designed to help people recover from heart-related problems, cardiac rehab can be done at a medical facility or at home.
The study, published March 7, 2023, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, included 1,120 veterans deemed eligible for cardiac rehab. About half had undergone angioplasty, a procedure to improve blood flow in the heart's arteries. Just 490 (44%) chose to participate in a 12-week home-based rehab program. The program featured up to nine coaching calls and motivational interviewing sessions. Participants also got a workbook, a health journal, a blood pressure monitor, a scale, and (if desired) a stationary bike. A nurse or exercise physiologist helped each person create realistic activity goals. Over a median follow-up of 4.2 years, the death rate was 36% lower among participants compared with those who didn't choose to do rehab.
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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