1. Dunn, Patrick MS, MBA
  2. Gambetta, Miguel MD1
  3. Arena, Ross PhD,PT2

Article Content


The body of evidence demonstrating the positive effect of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is presently impressive and continues to expand. There are, however, numerous research questions in the area of CR requiring further investigation. To date, most of beneficial effect of CR has been demonstrated in predominantly male study groups.



To assess the effect of CR on subsequent cardiac-related events in an all-female group.



A total of 152 female subjects were included in this retrospective analysis. After suffering an initial cardiac-event requiring percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty with a drug-eluting stent, 76 of the subjects were enrolled in a comprehensive CR program. The cardiac rehab program lasted 12 weeks and included exercise training, education and case management of risk factors. The remaining 76 subjects only received standard care, which entailed routine follow up with their physician. All subjects were tracked for subsequent cardiac-related events for a mean duration of 21.9 (+/-10.8) months.



Unpaired t-testing revealed the mean age between the CR and control group was not significantly different [69.6 (+/-10.6) vs. 72.0 (+/-10.4) years, P =.16]. There were 9 and 29 subsequent cardiac-related events in the CR and control group respectively. In both groups, the primary subsequent event was an additional coronary revascularization procedure. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed 88.3% of the CR group and 62.3% of the control group remained event-free during the tracking period. The difference in cardiac-related events between groups was statistically significant over the tracking period (Log-rank = 12.9, P <.001).



The results of the present study indicate participation in CR had a positive impact on reducing subsequent cardiac-related events in an all-female group. This finding is consistent with previous research conducted in predominantly male cohorts. Future research should continue to be directed towards examining the effects of CR in females diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

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