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Cardiac rehab programs help patients with heart disease reduce cardiovascular risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results that indicate they have heart disease, a cardiac rehabilitation program may help them reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack, according to a new study.

A team of researchers from the Cardiac Wellness Institute of Calgary assess the progress of nearly 3,000 patients who had suffered a heart attack and were enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs. These courses offer individuals tips for living healthy lifestyles that include more exercise and nutritious diets.

The results showed that the individuals who participated in these programs were significantly less likely to experience a second heart attack and had improved 15-year survival rates. Individuals who started the program with the lowest fitness levels gained the greatest benefit from the program.

"You don't need to be in good physical condition to reap the benefits of cardiac rehab. In fact, the lower the level of fitness the more valuable cardiac rehab may be," said lead researcher Billie Jean-Martin.

The findings suggest that it is never too late for a person with compromised cardiovascular health to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack.

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