Substantial evidence indicates that increased levels of physical activity, exercise training, and overall cardiorespiratory fitness provide protection in primary and secondary coronary heart disease (CHD) prevention. Clearly, cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training (CRET) programs have been greatly underused in patients with CHD. We review the benefits of formal CRET programs on CHD risk factors including exercise capacity, obesity indices, plasma lipids, inflammation, and psychosocial stress as well as overall morbidity and mortality. These data support the fact that patients with CHD, especially after major CHD events, need routine referral to CRET programs; and patients should be vigorously encouraged to attend these valuable programs.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.