Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Advanced age is associated with a higher prevalence of CHD as well as increased morbidity and mortality. One key vulnerability relates to the fact that older individuals are generally among the least fit, least active cohort and at increased risk of complications after an acute cardiac event and/or major surgery. There is ample evidence to demonstrate the beneficial effects of exercised-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs on improving functional capacity and other indices of cardiovascular (CV) health. Although the predominant number of studies is in middle-aged patients, there is an escalating amount of new information that establishes the cardioprotective role of CR and, in particular, structured exercise therapy (ET) among the elderly. The present review summarizes the current data available regarding CR and ET and its salutary impact on today's growing population of older adults with CHD.
Keywords: Cardiac rehabilitation; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Coronary heart disease; Elderly; Exercise therapy.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.