Comprehensive cardiovascular disease risk reduction in a cardiac rehabilitation setting

Am J Cardiol. 1997 Oct 30;80(8B):69H-73H. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(97)00825-4.


Cardiac rehabilitation combines prescriptive exercise training with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factor modification in patients with established CAD. As such, cardiac rehabilitation programs are ideally positioned to assume a pivotal role in the rendering of many components of comprehensive cardiovascular disease risk reduction in a secondary prevention setting. However, the extent to which traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs can successfully accomplish this goal is limited by low participation rates, inadequate emphasis on many of the essential aspects of secondary prevention, and lack of long-term follow-up of patients. To overcome these deficiencies, cardiac rehabilitation programs should evolve into cardiovascular risk reduction programs by implementing approaches that have been shown to be effective in randomized clinical trials. In this manuscript we describe one such approach, based on the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project, which has been implemented in > 1,000 patients. Key components of this physician-supervised, nurse case-manager model include: (1) initial evaluation and risk assessment; (2) identification of specific goals for each CAD risk factor; (3) formulation and implementation of an individualized treatment plan that includes lifestyle modification and pharmacologic interventions for accomplishing specific risk reduction goals; (4) long-term follow-up to enhance compliance and revise the treatment plan as indicated; and (5) a mechanism for outcomes based long-term assessment of each patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Coronary Disease / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors