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Circulation. 2012 Sep 25;126(13):1587-95. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Predictors of early and late enrollment in cardiac rehabilitation, among those referred, after acute myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Emory University School of Medicine, 1462 Clifton Road NE, Suite 502, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a Class I recommendation. Although referral to CR after an AMI has recently become a performance measure, many patients may not participate. To illuminate potential barriers to participation, we examined the prevalence of, and patient-related factors associated with, CR participation within 1 and 6 months after an AMI.


We studied 2096 AMI patients enrolled from 19 US sites in the Prospective Registry Evaluating outcomes after Myocardial Infarction: Events and Recovery (PREMIER) registry. Analyses were limited to those patients referred for CR at the time of AMI hospitalization. A multivariable, conditional logistic regression model, stratified by hospital, was used to identify sociodemographic, comorbidity, and clinical factors independently associated with CR participation within 1 and 6 months of AMI hospital discharge. Only 29% (419/1450) and 48.25% (650/1347) of AMI patients who received referral for CR participated within 1 and 6 months after discharge, respectively. Women (odds ratio [OR], 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-0.86), uninsured (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.21-0.71), and patients with hypertension (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.43-0.78) and peripheral arterial disease (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.22-0.85) were less likely to participate at 1 month. At 6 months after AMI, older patients (OR, 0.85 for each 10-year increment; 95% CI, 0.74-0.97), smokers (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.44-0.80), and patients with economic burden (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.38-0.81) were less likely to participate. Caucasians (OR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.16-2.58) and educated patients (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.42-2.30) were more likely to participate at 6 months. Patients with previous percutaneous interventions were less likely to participate at both 1 and 6 months post-AMI.


Among patients referred for CR post-AMI, participation remains low both at 1 and 6 months after AMI. Because CR is associated with beneficial changes in cardiovascular risk factors and better outcomes after AMI, more aggressive efforts are needed to increase CR participation after referral.

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