Objective: To describe the rehabilitation status three months after first-time myocardial infarction (MI) to identify focus areas for long-term cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in general practice. Design. Population-based cross-sectional study.
Setting and subjects: Patients with first-time MI in 2009 from the Central Denmark Region. Data were obtained from patient questionnaires and from registers.
Results: Of the 1288 eligible patients, 908 (70.5%) responded. The mean (SD) age was 67.1 (11.7) years and 626 (68.9%) were men. Overall, 287 (31.6%) of the patients lived alone and 398 (45.4%) had less than 10 years of education. Upwards of half (58.5%) of the patients stated that they had participated in hospital-based rehabilitation shortly after admission. A total of 262 (29.2%) were identified with anxiety or depressive disorder or both, according to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Of these, 78 (29.8%) reported that they had participated in psychosocial support, and 55 (21.0%) used antidepressants. One in five patients smoked three months after MI although nearly half of the smokers had stopped after the MI. Regarding cardioprotective drugs, 714 (78.6%) used aspirin, 694 (76.4%) clopidogrel, 756 (83.3%) statins, and 735 (81.0%) beta-blockers.
Conclusion: After three months, there is a considerable potential for further rehabilitation of MI patients. In particular, the long-term CR should focus on mental health, smoking cessation, and cardioprotective drugs.