Z Kardiol. 1997 Sep; 86(9): 691-702.
[Primary results and long-term outcome of an ambulatory, cardiac rehabilitation model (phase II) after myocardial infarct, dilatation treatment and heart operation]
From October 1994 to July 1996, 128 patients (30 women, 98 men) participated in an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program (phase II). Our objectives were to demonstrate risk-factor modification and increased work-load capacity resulting directly from the rehabilitation in terms of primary results and long-term effects, 6 months (n = 59) and 12 months (n = 30) after termination of the program. We observed how many of the patients were able to be occupationally re-integrated after completion of phase II rehabilitation. During the 4-week program, the work-load capacity increased significantly from 1.2 W/kg to 1.5 W/kg (p < or = 0.05). After 6 months (1.4 W/kg) and 1 year (1.5 W/kg), consistently high workload capacities were noted. Total cholesterol decreased significantly from 247 mg/dl to 201 mg/dl (p < or = 0.05) during the 4-week program. After 6 months (219 mg/dl) and 1 year (210 mg/dl) significant reductions persisted (p < or = 0.05). Similar results with LDL-cholesterol were seen: 185 mg/dl before entering the program, 146 mg/dl after 4 weeks, 158 mg/dl after 6 months and 151 mg/dl after 1 year. Triglyceride levels showed a significant reduction (p < or = 0.05), 189 mg/dl before entering in the program, 148 mg/dl after 4 weeks, 143 mg/dl after 6 months, and 135 mg/dl after 1 year. The HDL-levels increased slightly as a long-term effect, i.e., from 51 mg/dl to 49 mg/dl during the 4 week program, and 57 mg/dl after 6 and 12 months. Of the patients questioned (n = 73), 73% found the program very good, 27% said it was good, and no patient was dissatisfied. Of the 63 patients who were actively employed before becoming ill and later entered our program, 51 (81%) were able to be immediately re-integrated into their previous occupation. In several cases this re-integration took 7 weeks. Seven (11%) patients applied for pension, and 5 (8%) patients remained unemployed on sick-leave.