Cardiac Rehab is much more than just a series of workout sessions. Generally an outpatient program, it's sort of like physical therapy for your heart, combined with emotional support, lifestyle counseling, and even heart health nutritional guidance—all personalized to each person, and medically monitored.
While it is especially useful for those whose hearts have been affected and those who may not have been used before, it can both benefit-mortality statistics increase the involvement of the MI (heart attack) survivor in the program for each continuous session. A crucial aspect in healing, there should be no doubt that it is a big step in the right direction when it comes to preventing a second heart attack. Yet, sadly, only 14 to 35% of US patients who qualify go.
In a 5-year Duke University study released at the end of December 2009, the completion of all thirty-six Cardiac Rehab sessions amounted to a 47% lower risk of death and a 31% lower risk of MI compared to a one-session attendance.
Reading this excerpt, from the study's conclusion, "Attending all 36 sessions that Medicare reimburses was associated with a lower risk of death and MI in the four years after the initiation of cardiac rehabilitation compared with attending fewer sessions."
According to research, the first four years following a first-time heart attack were considered to be the most critical in terms of survival. And that other studies conducted in the US, Canada, and the UK - all with similar results!
The bottom line is that Cardiac Rehab programs greatly increase long-term chances of survival after serious coronary related hospitalization and, in most instances, it is covered by Medicare (36 sessions over 12 or 18 weeks).