Randal Thomas, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Cardiovascular Health Clinic, and colleagues found that patients who participate in cardiac rehabilitation after having heart interventions such as angioplasty, stents and clot-busting drugs have a 45-percent lower mortality rate.
The research team studied data from over 2,300 patients between 1994 and 2008, and recently published the results in Circulation.
“We were able to follow their outcomes over time, based on whether or not they made it into cardiac rehabilitation,” says Dr. Thomas.
Only about 40 percent of patients in the study participated in cardiac rehabilitation. These findings are particularly important for interventional cardiologists, Dr. Thomas says, because encouraging patients to pursue cardiac rehab after their procedure can potentially save more lives than previously thought.