Cardiac Rehab Requirements

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Cardiac rehab is for patients who have been diagnosed with or are at risk for heart disease.
Cardiac rehab is for patients who have been diagnosed with or are at risk for heart disease.

Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) is a coordinated program between a patient and her doctor including exercise and education to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. It is designed to reduce the risks of reoccurring heart attacks and prevent further damage to the heart and cardiovascular system. Cardiac rehab provides counseling to reduce the stress of coping with heart-related illnesses and emotional support to patients as they learn live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

  1. Heart Related Illnesses

    • Heart-related illnesses and diseases are the primary requirements for cardiac rehabilitation. For example, heart attacks, heart failure and congenital heart disease require cardiac rehabilitation in order for the patient to increase heart strength and become educated on how to reduce the risk of further heart complications. For example, a patient may undergo monitored exercise to increase heart strength.

    Cardiovascular Related Illnesses

    • Coronary artery and peripheral arterial diseases also require cardiac rehabilitation. In this case, cardiac rehabilitation efforts focus on improving cardiovascular health that may include monitored exercise. Additionally, this rehabilitation program also includes guidance on lifestyle changes and nutritional education to improve overall heart health such as learning better eating habits and increasing physical activity.

    Surgery and Transplants

    • Coronary artery bypass, heart valve replacement, as well as angioplasty and stent surgeries, require cardiac rehabilitation. In this case, the patient is educated on how to strengthen the heart and ways to prevent worsening the condition through diet and heart healthy lifestyle changes. For example, patients may receive counseling on ways to reduce stress, smoking cessation and heart-healthy food choices.

    Additional Requirements

    • Additional conditions for cardiac rehabilitation candidates include angina, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Although these conditions may include other body systems, such as with diabetes, cardiac rehabilitation has proven effective in reducing the life-threatening damage caused by these conditions. Patients who suffer from these conditions are informed by their doctor about making heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as effective ways to reduce stress and increase physical activity, to prevent such conditions from worsening.

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  • Photo Credit heart image by Shmakov Serge from Fotolia.com

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