1. Dunn, Patrick MS, MBA
  2. Gambetta, Miguel MD

Article Content


Numerous studies have demonstrated the favorable effect of participation in a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program. Unfortunately, subjects of advanced age are particularly at risk for lower referral rates to CR. Compounding this clinical pattern is the lack of evidence investigating the beneficial outcomes of CR in individuals of advanced age.



To assess the effect of CR on subsequent cardiac-related events in a group of subjects who were 80 years of age or older.



A total of 80 subjects were included in this retrospective analysis. Mean age of the overall group was 83.0 (+/-3.2) years. After suffering an initial cardiac-event requiring angioplasty + drug-eluting stent, 24 (11 male/ 13 female) of the subjects were enrolled in a comprehensive CR program. The comprehensive CR program lasted 12 weeks. The remaining 54 subjects (29 male/ 25 female) only received standard care, which entailed routine follow up with their physician. All subjects were tracked for a mean duration of 22.2 (+/-12.6) months.



Unpaired t-testing revealed mean age between the CR and control group was not significantly different [83.4 (+/-3.8) vs. 82.6 (+/-2.8) years, P =.15]. There were 4 and 24 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 84.6% of the CR group and 55.6% of the control group remained event-free during the tracking period. The difference in cardiac-related events between groups was statistically significant (Log-rank = 6.7, P =.01).



The results of the present study indicate participation in CR had a positive impact on reducing subsequent cardiac-related events in a group of subjects 80 years of age or older. This finding supports the assertion that advanced age should not be a barrier for referral to CR.

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