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  1. Snow, Richard DO, MPH
  2. LaLonde, Michelle CES, MS
  3. Hindman, Lisa BSN
  4. Falko, James MD, FACC
  5. Caulin-Glaser, Teresa MD, FACC


PURPOSE: We evaluate the effects cardiac rehabilitation (CR) participation independent of using lipid-altering agents (LAAs) on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride. Measurements included absolute and relative change in lipids and increases in percent of patients achieving goals.


METHODS: Analysis of 766 patients who participated in CR between 2000 and 2003 was performed. On enrollment to CR, all were being treated with an LAA defined as HIviG-CoA reductase inhibitors, bile acid sequestrant, fibrate, and niacin, hormone replacement therapy. Preenrollment and postenrollment lipids were obtained. Analysis was performed on 2 cohorts, participants enrolled on an LAA with no change in medication (n = 13) and participants enrolled on an LAA with a change in medications (n = 153).


RESULTS: At completion of CR, 74.9% of patients on LAA at enrollment with no medication adjustments during the program were at Adult Treatment Panel III goal for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with 68.5% at entry (P =.01), all other lipid parameters also significantly improved. Sixty-three percent who started CR on an LAA and had dose adjustment or an additional LAA added achieved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goal compared with 43.1% at entry (P <.0001).


CONCLUSION: Participation in CR significantly potentiates the lipid-improving effects of pharmacological therapy and independently contributed to the percent of patients achieving all lipid levels at Adult Treatment Panel III goal.