Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients with heart disease or who have been affected by a heart attack, with health education and counselling, support for self-management and behaviour modification strategies – so that they can prevent the recurrence of cardiac events and provide a basis on leading an active life.
At a conference in Brisbane yesterday (August 14), the National Heart Foundation of Australia called for "urgent action" to address the low number of heart attack patients participating in the cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Clinical issues director at the Heart Foundation Dr Robert Grenfell said that it is believed that only about 30 per cent of those who have had a heart attack have been referred to a cardiac rehab program.
"Cardiac rehabilitation, either hospital-based, community-based or home-based via a manual, telephone or online program, is a cost-effective intervention that can dramatically reduce the chances of having a subsequent heart attack," he said.
"Cardiac rehab may reduce the risk of death by up to 25% and readmission to hospital within one year by up to 45%."
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