Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in patients with coronary heart disease: meta-analysis outcomes revisited

Future Cardiol. 2012 Sep;8(5):729-51. doi: 10.2217/fca.12.34.


Cardiac rehabilitation that includes either exercise training alone or exercise training in addition to psychosocial, risk factor management and/or educational interventions is considered a Class I indication [i.e., useful and effective] for patients with coronary heart disease. This overview of six independent cardiac rehabilitation meta-analyses published since 2000 includes a total of 71 randomized clinical trials (n = 13,824 patients) and clearly demonstrates significant clinical outcomes (reduced all-cause and cardiac mortality, nonfatal reinfarction and reduced hospitalization rates) and significant positive changes in modifiable risk factors (total cholesterol, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure). Despite the observation that the elderly, females, minority ethnic groups, low socioeconomic status patients and patients with comorbidities have not been well represented in the randomized clinical trials. Recent guidelines in the UK and USA have concluded with the recommendation that cardiac rehabilitation is reasonable and necessary and should be promoted by healthcare professionals, including senior medical staff.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / economics
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


  • Lipids