Attendance rates and outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation in Victoria, 1998

Med J Aust. 2004 Mar 15;180(6):268-71. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb05923.x.


Objective: To describe the patterns of use of cardiac rehabilitation in Victoria and to assess whether the survival benefits predicted in clinical trials have been realised in the community.

Design: Cohort study based on data linkage.

Participants: All patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in Victoria in 1998 (n = 12821).

Interventions: Attendance at one of 66 participating outpatient cardiac rehabilitation centres in Victoria.

Main outcome measures: Rates of attendance at rehabilitation based on key factors such as diagnosis, age, sex, and comorbidity. Five-year survival for attendees compared with non-attendees.

Results: Rates of participation in rehabilitation were 15% for AMI, 37% for CABG, and 14% for PTCA. Rehabilitation attendance rates dropped sharply after 70 years of age. Attendees had a 35% improvement in 5-year survival (hazard ratio for death associated with rehabilitation attendance, 0.65 [95% CI, 0.56-0.75]).

Conclusions: Attendance rates at cardiac rehabilitation are suboptimal, even though attendance confers a clinically significant difference in 5-year survival. The elderly, women, and those with comorbid conditions may benefit measurably from increased rates of attendance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / mortality
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / rehabilitation*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / rehabilitation*
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Coronary Disease / surgery
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medical Record Linkage
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Victoria / epidemiology