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Editorials |

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation in the Elderly

Carl J. Lavie, MD; Richard Milani, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: New Orleans, LA
 ,  Drs. Lavie and Milani are from the Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Ochsner Clinic Foundation.

Correspondence to: Carl J. Lavie, MD, Medical Co-Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Director, Exercise Laboratories, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1514 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121-2483; e-mail: clavie@ochsner.org email



Chest. 2004;126(4):1010-1012. doi:10.1378/chest.126.4.1010
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Despite the increasing prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) among older patients, there seems to be a strong age bias in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, including various preventive strategies.16 Data from Ades and colleagues79 as well as from our institution indicate that elderly patients are less likely to be referred to formal cardiac rehabilitation programs, and when referred, experience poor program compliance due to the lack of “strength” of the referring physicians’ recommendation.1,10 At our institution, elderly patients are routinely referred for cardiac rehabilitation, yet attend our program only half as frequently as do younger patients.1 However, we and others have reported the significant benefits of formal, phase II cardiac rehabilitation and exercise-training program on plasma lipids, obesity indexes, exercise capacity, behavioral characteristics, and quality of life (QOL), including subgroups of elderly patients > 75 years of age as well as older women.1017

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