Transforming cardiac rehabilitation into broad-based healthy lifestyle programs to combat noncommunicable disease

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2016;14(1):23-36. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2016.1107475. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


The current incidence and prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is currently a cause for great concern on a global scale; future projections are no less disconcerting. Unhealthy lifestyle patterns are at the core of the NCD crisis; physical inactivity, excess body mass, poor nutrition and tobacco use are the primary lifestyle factors that substantially increase the risk of developing one or more NCDs. We have now come to recognize that healthy lifestyle interventions are a medical necessity that should be prescribed to all individuals. Perhaps the most well-established model for healthy lifestyle interventions in the current healthcare model is cardiac rehabilitation. To have any hope of improving the outlook for NCDs on a global scale, what is currently known as cardiac rehabilitation must transform into broad-based healthy lifestyle programing, with a shifted focus on primordial and primary prevention.

Keywords: Fitness; nutrition; obesity; prevention; smoking cessation.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease* / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease* / prevention & control
  • Chronic Disease* / psychology
  • Global Health
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention* / methods
  • Primary Prevention* / organization & administration
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Smoking Prevention