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Impact of an Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program on Clinical and Analytical Variables in Cardiovascular Disease

Roca-Rodríguez, M. M. MD, PhD; García-Almeida, J. M. MD; Ruiz-Nava, J. RD; Alcaide-Torres, J. MSc; Saracho-Domínguez, H. RD; Rioja-Vázquez, R. RN; García-Fernández, C. RN; Gómez-González, A. MD, PhD; Montiel-Trujillo, A. MD, PhD; Tinahones-Madueño, F. J. MD, PhD

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: January/February 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 43–48
doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000026
Brief Reports

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to determine the effect of lifestyle changes in patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program.

METHODS: Patients with cardiovascular disease (N = 59) were enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation, which included nutritional and exercise interventions. All patients completed the program, but only 44 attended the reassessment after 12 months because of work reasons or lack of time or interest.

RESULTS: Ergometry before and after cardiac rehabilitation showed significant differences in exercise tolerance time (5.2 ± 1.8 minutes vs 7.1 ± 2.1 minutes; P< .001), metabolic equivalents (6.5 ± 1.8 vs 8.8 ± 2.2; P< .001), and the Börg rating of perceived exertion scale (12 ± 1.8 points vs 13.7 ± 1.6 points; P= .005). At the end of the intervention program, significant improvements were seen in body weight (82.6 ± 15.2 kg vs 80.8 ± 14.3 kg; P< .001), waist circumference (100.3 ± 12.4 cm vs 98.0 ± 11.0 cm; P= .002), and levels of fasting glucose (126.5 ± 44.6 mmol/L vs 109.6 ± 24.8 mmol/L; P< .001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (2.7 ± 0.9 mmol/L vs 2.5 ± 0.8 mmol/L; P= .033), and C-reactive protein (5.1 ± 8.7 μg/mL vs 4.1 ± 2.6 μg/mL; P= .008), as well as in adherence to a healthy diet as estimated by the Trichopoulou questionnaire score (7.9 ± 2.3 vs 10.6 ± 1.5; P< .001). Twelve months later, however, many of these benefits had either remained stable or worsened.

CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac rehabilitation is an appropriate program for the improvement of clinical and analytical variables, such as functional capacity, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, anthropometric measures, and diet. However, 12 months later, many of these benefits either remained stable or worsened.

Patients with cardiovascular disease (N = 59) were enrolled in a cardiac rehabilitation program based on nutritional and exercise interventions. Significant improvements were seen in anthropometric variables, fasting glucose levels, and in adherence to a healthy diet. However, 12 months later, many of these benefits had either remained stable or worsened.

Departments of Endocrinology and Nutrition (Drs Roca-Rodríguez, García-Almeida, and Tinahones-Madueño and Mss Ruiz-Nava, Saracho-Domínguez, and Rioja-Vázquez), Cardiology (Dr Montiel-Trujillo), and Rehabilitation (Ms García-Fernández and Dr Gómez-González), Virgen de la Victoria Hospital, Malaga, Spain; and Virgen de la Victoria Hospital Investigation Unit (IMABIS), Malaga, Spain (Drs Roca-Rodríguez and Tinahones-Madueño and Mr Alcaide-Torres).

Correspondence: F. J. Tinahones-Madueño, MD, PhD, and M. M. Roca-Rodríguez, MD, PhD, Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Virgen de la Victoria Hospital, Campus Teatinos, 29010 Malaga, Spain ( and

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins