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Authors

  1. Quindry, John C. PhD
  2. McNamara, Michael MS
  3. Oser, Carrie MPH
  4. Fogle, Crystelle MS, RD, MBA

Abstract

Purpose: Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is essential for treating cardiovascular disease, and modifying risk factor modification, including hypertension. Because the causes of hypertension and benefits of CR are faceted, we examined the influence of phase II CR on resting blood pressure (BP).

 

Methods: Outcomes straddle the release of the updated BP guidelines, and study emphases included CR session number, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance provider, and referring diagnosis.

 

Results: Patient files of 31 885 individuals uploaded to the Montana Outcomes Project registry indicated that lowered systolic and diastolic BP were further improved after the release of the revised BP guidelines. The CR session number was proportional to improvements in diastolic BP. Blood pressure improved independent of sex, although female patients exhibited lower diastolic BP before and after CR. Race/ethnicity analyses indicated that Asian and White patients experienced drops in systolic and diastolic BP, while diastolic BP was improved in Hispanic patients. Neither American Indian nor Black patients exhibited statistically altered BP. Medicare, Veterans Administration, and privately insured patients had lowered systolic and diastolic BP, while Medicaid patients had lower diastolic BP, and the uninsured had lower systolic BP. Blood pressure outcomes were generally improved independent of the primary referring diagnosis, while those with peripheral artery disease showed no improvements.

 

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that phase II CR is highly effective in the control of BP, although improvements are not equally distributed to all individuals according to differences in sex, race/ethnicity, and access to insurance-funded health care.