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Secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation: principles and practice 

Secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation: principles and practice
Secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation: principles and practice

Massimo F. Piepoli

and Pantaleo Giannuzzi


February 23, 2017: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 20 April 2021

Secondary prevention through cardiac rehabilitation is the intervention that contributes most to decreasing morbidity and mortality in coronary artery disease, in particular after myocardial infarction but after incorporating cardiac interventions and in chronic stable heart disease. Cardiac patients deserve special attention to restore their quality of life and to maintain or restore their functional capacity and require counselling to avoid recurrence by adherence to a medication plan and adoption of a healthy lifestyle. These secondary prevention targets are included in the overall goal of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Components of CR include patient assessment, physical activity counselling, exercise training, diet/nutritional counselling, weight control management, lipid management, blood pressure monitoring, smoking cessation and psychosocial management. This chapter reviews the key components of a CR programme and summarizes current evidence-based best practice for the wide range of patient presentations of interest to the general cardiology community.

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