Cardiac Rehab Effective for Secondary Prevention After TIA

Improves vascular risk factors in patients who have sustained transient ischemic attack, mild stroke

FRIDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CCR) is effective for patients who have sustained a transient ischemic attack or mild, non-disabling stroke (TIA/MNDS) resulting in significant, favorable outcomes in vascular risk factors including aerobic capacity, total cholesterol, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein percentage, triglycerides, waist circumference, body mass index, and body weight, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in Stroke.

Peter L. Prior, Ph.D., from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of six-month outpatient CCR for secondary prevention after TIA/MNDS. A total of 80 patients diagnosed with TIA/MNDS within the previous 12 months with one or more vascular risk factors were selected from January 2005 to April 2006 and their six-month CCR outcomes were assessed.

The investigators identified significant and favorable intake-to-exit changes in aerobic capacity (+31.4 percent), total cholesterol (−0.30 mmol/L), total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (−11.6 percent), triglycerides (−0.27 mmol/L), waist circumference (−2.44 cm), body mass index (−0.53 kg/m²), and body weight (−1.43 kg). Nonsignificant but favorable changes were observed in low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A significant shift was seen toward non-smoking. From intake to completion of CCR, there was a 25.6 percent increase in the number of individuals in the lowest-mortality risk category of the Duke Treadmill Score.

"CCR is feasible and effective for secondary prevention after TIA/MNDS, offering a promising model for vascular protection across chronic disease entities," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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