Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation as the keystone in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

Kardiol Pol. 2021 Jul 16. doi: 10.33963/KP.a2021.0066. Online ahead of print.


Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a mainstay of the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In the European Society of Cardiology guidelines, comprehensive cardiovascular rehabilitation has the highest class of recommendation and level of evidence as an effective method for the treatment of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, after myocardial revascularization, with chronic coronary syndrome, for CVD prevention in clinical practice, and in patients with heart failure (HF). This document presents an expert opinion of the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology Section of the Polish Cardiac Society concerning the definition, goals, target population, organization of rehabilitation services, standard clinical indications and methods of implementation. Moreover, it describes psychosocial risk factors influencing the course of CR and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients undergoing CR. Comprehensive CR is as a process that should be implemented as soon as possible, continued without interruption, and consist of multiple stages. Moreover, it should be tailored to the individual clinical situation and should be accepted by the patient and their family, friends, and caregivers.

Keywords: cardiac rehabilitation; coronary artery disease; exercise training; secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.