The cardiac rehabilitation programs are recommended by various reputed organizations such as the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the European Society of Cardiology in patients with coronary heart disease. Exercise is an important element in these programs.
The authors of the study wrote, “Our aim was to systematically update existing meta-analyses to reassess the effects of exercise-based CR in patients with CHD in terms of mortality, morbidity, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and cost-effectiveness. We also sought to explore whether effects vary with patient case mix, the nature of CR programs, and study characteristics.”
Various databases such as MEDLINE, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded were searched to July 2014. The researchers hand-searched retrieved papers, trial registries, and systematic reviews. Only those randomized controlled trials were included in the study which had at least 6 months of the follow-up period, and those comparing the cardiac rehabilitation to no-exercise controls in patients following revascularization or myocardial infarction or with a diagnosis of angina pectoris or CHD defined by angiography. Among these authors, two extracted data screened title for exclusion, and assess bias risk.
The researchers extracted 63 studies with 14,486 participants and the median follow-up was of 12 months. Although there was no significant effect on the total mortality, myocardial infarction, or revascularization, there was a reduction in cardiovascular mortality and risk of hospital admissions. Most studies showed an increased level of health0-related quality of life following exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation compared to control subjects. Further, the results obtained with this study were consistent across intervention types and patients. The benefits were independent of setting, and study quality.