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Rev Port Cardiol. 2013 Mar;32(3):191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.repc.2012.08.005. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

[Long-term effects of a cardiac rehabilitation program in the control of cardiovascular risk factors].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Hospital de Santo António, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Porto, Portugal. mag.sandra@gmail.com



Cardiac rehabilitation programs are designed to improve patients' functional capacity, as well as to educate them and to monitor their cardiovascular risk factors.


The study aims to evaluate the effects of cardiac rehabilitation programs in patients with coronary disease over a 12-month follow-up period with regard to control of cardiovascular risk factors.


This was a prospective study of patients diagnosed with coronary disease who completed an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program between January 2008 and December 2009 and who were not lost to follow-up. Patients were evaluated at an early stage (first medical consultation in phase II of the program) and 3, 6 and 12 months later, the following parameters being assessed: weight and body mass index, waist circumference, lipid profile, HbA1c in diabetic patients, blood pressure, smoking status and physical activity (using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire).


In the sample of 256 patients (76.2% male, mean age 67 years), dyslipidemia proved to be the most prevalent risk factor (74.2%), followed by overweight (71.5%). There was a statistically significant improvement (p<0,05) in all risk factors studied at the end of phase II of the program, which was maintained at 6 and 12 months of follow-up, with the exception of body mass index (loss of statistical significance at 6-month assessment, p=0,92).


This study highlights the need for cardiac rehabilitation programs in the context of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and the importance of implementing strategies that promote long-term maintenance of their benefits.

Copyright © 2012 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

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