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J Public Health (Oxf). 2007 Mar;29(1):57-61. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

The rise and fall of cardiac rehabilitation in the United Kingdom since 1998.

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Basingstoke & Alton Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre, Chawton Park Road, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1RQ.



Provision of cardiac rehabilitation is inadequate in all countries in which it has been measured. This study assesses the provision in the United Kingdom and the changes between 1998 and 2004.


All UK cardiac rehabilitation programmes were surveyed annually. Figures for each year were up-rated to account for missing data and compared with national data for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The total numbers and percentage of eligible patients included were charted for 7 years.


For centres giving figures, the total number treated rose from 29,890 in 1998 to 37,129 in 2004. The up-rated figures show that the percentage of eligible patients enrolled rose from 25.0% in 1998 to 31.5% in 1999 and has changed little since, falling from 31.3% in 2002 to 28.5% in 2004. About 25% of myocardial infarction patients, 75% of CABG patients and 20% of PCI patients joined cardiac rehabilitation programmes.


The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease set a target for 85% of myocardial infarct and coronary revascularization patients to be enrolled in rehabilitation programmes. Only one-third of this number is currently being enrolled and the percentage is falling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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