Introduction: Cardiovascular disease kills more than 850,000 people in the United States each year and includes numerous disorders such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure (American Heart Association, 2017; American Heart Association, 2020). Cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs are used to treat and prevent further instances of cardiovascular disease by implementing exercise, nutrition counseling, psychological and social support, and stress management. Purpose: Improvements in cardiovascular health are often seen after participating in cardiac rehabilitation, but the extent of these improvements may depend on the intensity of the program. This paper reviewed current literature and compared traditional cardiac rehabilitation to intensive cardiac rehabilitation in order to evaluate the improvement of cardiovascular disease risk factors such as systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and total cholesterol. Methods: Literature from the previous thirty years in the field of cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs was reviewed, and systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and total cholesterol were evaluated. Results: Multiple researchers have concluded that traditional cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention programs and intensive cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention programs may be used to reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease; however, intensive programs tend to yield greater reductions in systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and total cholesterol than traditional programs. Conclusion: Based on the review of literature, both traditional and intensive cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs may be effective in reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease; however, intensive programs yield greater reductions in certain cardiovascular disease risk factors. Further research is needed on the long-term impact of these programs. 3 Key Words: Cardiovascular disease, traditional cardiac rehabilitation, intensive cardiac rehabilitation, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol.
Dr. Todd Keylock
Dr. Lynn Darby
Thatcher, Julia, "Comparison of Traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs With Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs on Health Outcomes in Cardiac Patients" (2021). Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 92.