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The Johannesburg cardiac rehabilitation programme

A.G. Digenio
J.G.M. Sim
K. Krige
A Stewart
R Morris
R.J. Dowdeswell
G.N. Padayachee


Cardiac rehabilitation has become a generally accepted mode of treatment for patients suffering from coronary artery disease. The Johannesburg cardiac rehabilitation programme has started in 1982 and has rapidly grown to become one of the largest programmes in southern Africa. This paper describes the 387 patients admitted to the unit l;Ietween June 1986 and July 1988 and evaluates the effects of a combined exercise training and lifestyle modification programme. The mean age on admission was 55 years for males and 58 years for females. Most patients were from social classes I and 11. Myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft and a combination of both were the most common reasons for admission (35,4%. 23% and 21,2% respectively). On admission 72,9% of patients were smokers, 26,3% had hypertension and 34,3% had hypercholesterolaemia. A 50% drop-out rate within 12 months of starting the programme was noted. An increase in peak oxygen uptake, weight and skinfold thickness reduction, and improvement in the lipogram were seen after 6 months in patients who complied well with the programme. Cardiac rehabilitation is a secondary preventive strategy that can complement traditional medical and surgical therapies.

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eISSN: 2078-5135
print ISSN: 0256-9574