Background: Cardiac rehabilitation includes interventions aimed at facilitating physical, psychological and emotional recovery following the acute phase of myocardial infarction (AMI). To date, optimal cardiac rehabilitation program duration and frequency of patient contact has yet to be identified. OBJECTIVE: The present study was performed to evaluate the effects of two different strategies of secondary prevention (2 years, multifactorial continued educational and behavioral intervention versus usual care) implemented into a cardiac rehabilitation setting on several cardiovascular endpoints indicating cardiovascular functional exercise capacity and coronary risk profile in patients with recent AMI. METHODS: This was a prospective randomized study including 52 postinfarction patients. Initially, all patients were enrolled in a 3-month outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. Thereafter, they were randomly subdivided into two groups (I = intervention group; C = control group), each composed of 26 patients, and followed for 24 months. RESULTS: At the end of the 3-month outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, both groups showed a significant (P <0.05) improvement in cardiopulmonary parameters (maximal oxygen consumption, maximal workload) and in cardiovascular risk profile (BMI, lipid profile). During the 24-month study period, group I showed stabilization or even improvement (P <0.05) of both cardiopulmonary parameters and cardiovascular risk profile, whereas group C patients showed a deterioration or significant impairment (P <0.05) of the same parameters. Clinical events occurred in 27% of patients in the control group (n = 7) and in 11% in the training group (n = 3) (P <0.05). CONCLUSION: Long-term, multifactorial educational and behavioral intervention maintained for 2 years in a multicomprehensive cardiac rehabilitation setting represents a valid strategy for improving long-term cardiovascular functional capacity and cardiovascular risk profile in postinfarction patients.
- Cardiac rehabilitation; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; exercise training; lipid profile; long-term multi-comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation; multi-comprehensive approach; myocardial infarction; oxygen consumption; secondary prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine