Evaluation of the Impact of Cardiac Rehabilitation Program on Post-MI Patients, Egyptian Experience

Document Type : Original Article


1 The Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aden University, Yemen

2 The Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University


Abstract Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a preventive multidisciplinary program, designed to help patients regain their physical, social and psychological functioning. Studies show that the control of risk factors can slow down or even reverse the advancement of the atherosclerosis process, di-minishing the morbidity and mortality burden. Participation in cardiac rehabilitationincreases the rate of return to work (1) and reduces medical costs due to decreased rates of re-hospitalizations (1) and PCI procedures (2). Aim of Study: To assess the effect of a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program on ischemic patients following myo-cardial infarction (MI). Patients and Methods: This is a prospective single-center study that was conducted on 30 patients who survived myo-cardial infarction with and preserved ejection fraction and in absence of overt heart failure symptoms. A full history and careful physical examination were performed before and after enrollment in a 3-month-cardiac rehabilitation program which prescribed exercise training, 3 sessions/week. The following measurements were taken; weight, BMI, blood pressure and heart rate, in addition to blood samples to assess lipid profile, fasting blood sugar and HbA1c. A primary endpoint of this study was to assess the effect of cardiac rehabilitation program on CV risk factors whereas the sec-ondary endpoint was to evaluate the effect of the programon (MACE), functional capacity and quality of life using the Short-Form 12 (SF-12). Results: There was a highly significant decrease in systolic, diastolic blood pressure and resting heart rate (p=0.00, p=0.000 and p=0.025 respectively) in addition to total cholesterol, LDL, blood sugar levels and HbA1c (p=0.05, 0.02, 0.006 and 0.015 respectively). However, there was no statistically significant reduction in Triglycerides, HDL, BMI, and weight. Additionally, a significant improvement in the functional capacityand the health related quality of life (using SF-12) were noted. No major adverse cardiac events were observed until program completion.
Conclusion: Post-MI patients who were referred to a 12-week-exercise-based, comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program demonstrated improvement in exercise capacity, blood pressure, resting HR, LDL, total cholesterol, cardiac events, psycho-social functioning with 93.3% resumption of work.