Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs are provided to support the recovery process following acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Attendance varies. We related attendance following CABG to severity of cardiac symptoms, general health status (Short Form-36) and prevalence of modifiable coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors. Methods: 209 patients due to undergo CABG were recruited and assessed preoperatively as well as at a mean of 16.4 months postoperatively. General health status was measured using the Short Form-36 questionnaire. Severity of cardiac symptoms was assessed on a visual analogue scale. Modifiable coronary artery disease risk factors (smoking, body mass index, hypertension and elevated cholesterol) and social deprivation index were noted. Results: There were ten early and three late deaths. Thirteen patients withdrew consent for investigation, therefore 183 were fully studied. Of these 65.0% completed a CR programme and 24.6% did not attend any programme; 10.4% partially completed (less than 50% of time) and were excluded from analysis. Nonattenders were more likely to be smokers (P=0.002), diabetic (P=0.028) and were more from socially deprived geographical areas (P=0.013), but the proportion of patients with BMI>25, BP>140/90 or cholesterol >5.0 mmol l-1 were the same. There were no differences in age, preoperative NYHA score, number of grafts, angina recurrence (46 vs. 38%, P=0.35) or breathlessness (62 vs. 69%, P=0.40) between attenders and nonattenders. The severity scores of angina (2.7 vs. 3.2, P=0.286) and breathlessness (3.5 vs. 3.6; P=0.79) were no different. However, four of the eight health domains measured showed significantly better values for attenders than nonattenders; namely: general health (60 vs. 46%, P=0.001), physical function (64 vs. 51% P=0.01), role limitation physical (48 vs. 29%; P=0.02) and social function 74 vs. 62%, P=0.04). Conclusions: This is the first report using SF 36 to evaluate benefits from attending CR. Higher general health scores (SF-36) were associated with attendance at CR although CAD risk factors and cardiac symptoms were not improved but this may be due to the long interval between assessments.
- coronary surgery
- risk factors