1. Findlay, Briar BSc
  2. Oh, Paul MD
  3. Grace, Sherry L. PhD


Background: Patients of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds are underrepresented among participants and, hence, little is known about their outcomes. The objectives of this study were to compare cardiac rehabilitation (CR) utilization, cardiovascular risk factor reduction (blood pressure, lipids, anthropometrics), and functional capacity between white and ethnocultural minority patients participating in CR across Canada.


Methods: The study was a retrospective, observational cohort study using the Canadian Cardiac Rehab Registry (CCRR). Participants from an ethnocultural minority (n >= 25) were propensity-matched to white participants based on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. CR outcomes were compared.


Results: In the CCRR, 3848 (53.8%) participants had an ethnocultural background reported. Of those, whites (n = 3630) and South Asians (n = 26), Southeast Asians (n = 45), and Arab/West Asians (n = 37) minorities had sufficient representation in the registry to be analyzed. In the matched sample, 364 (97.1%) participants completed a discharge assessment. Southeast Asian participants adhered to (96.5%, P = .02) and completed (88.2%, P = .02) CR more often than white participants (90.2% and 55.6%, respectively). Southeast Asian participants had significantly lower diastolic blood pressure (P = .002) at CR discharge than matched white participants. No other differences in outcomes or functional capacity were observed.


Conclusions: Ethnocultural minorities make up a small proportion of CR participants in Canada. However, when they do participate, they achieve similar CR outcomes compared with white participants. CR programs should seek to ensure ethnoculturally diverse patients are referred to their programs and ensure their programs are culturally sensitive to the needs of the preponderant ethnocultural groups in their catchment areas.