Impact of cardiac rehabilitation referral on one-year outcome after discharge of patients with acute myocardial infarction

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2019 Jan;26(2):138-144. doi: 10.1177/2047487318807766. Epub 2018 Oct 18.


Background: Cardiac rehabilitation after an acute myocardial infarction has a class I recommendation in the present guidelines. However, data about the impact on mortality in Switzerland are not available. Therefore, we analysed one-year outcome of acute myocardial infarction patients according to cardiac rehabilitation referral at discharge.

Design and methods: Data were extracted from the Swiss AMIS Plus registry and included patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, who were asked to give their informed consent to a telephone follow-up one year after discharge.

Results: From 10,141 patients, 1956 refused to participate in follow-up and 302 were lost to follow-up. There were 4508 (57.2%) patients with cardiac rehabilitation referrals compared with 3375 (42.8%) without. Patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation were younger (62.4 years vs. 68.8 years), more often male (77% vs. 70%), presented more often with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (63.5% vs. 52.1%) and, apart from smoking (44.0% vs. 34.9%), they had fewer risk factors, such as dyslipidaemia (55.0% vs. 60.1%), hypertension (55.6% vs. 65.3%) and diabetes (16.7% vs. 21.5%). Patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation had a lower crude one-year all-cause mortality (1.7% vs. 5.8%; p < 0.001) and lower rates of re-infarction, rehospitalization for cardiovascular disease and intervention (all p < 0.005). In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, cardiac rehabilitation was an independent predictor for lower mortality rate (odds ratio 0.65; 95% confidence interval 0.48-0.89; p = 0.007).

Conclusions: Although the detailed data of cardiac rehabilitation programmes and patient participation were not available for this study, our data from 7883 acute myocardial infarction patients showed a better one-year outcome for patients with cardiac rehabilitation referrals than for those without.

Keywords: All-cause mortality; cardiovascular mortality; diabetes; heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; prediabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation*
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Recurrence
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / rehabilitation*
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome