Older adults from distressed communities attend less cardiac rehab after heart procedures

Oct. 26, 2023
Researchers say reducing barriers must be prioritized.

Older adults who live in disadvantaged communities are less likely to attend cardiac rehabilitation after common heart procedures, a Michigan Medicine-led study finds.

The study aimed to calculate how many Medicare beneficiaries attended cardiac rehabilitation, a medically supervised program exercise and education program, after coronary revascularization between mid-2016 and 2018.

Patient communities were categorized using the Distressed Community Index, which analyzes economic well-being and social determinants of health, such as educational disparities and poverty rate, of United States zip codes.

Only 26% of patients from distressed communities used cardiac rehab, compared to 46% of patients from areas deemed prosperous. Any patient who attended cardiac rehab, no matter where they lived, had a reduced risk of death, hospitalization and heart attack, according to results published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Michigan Medicine release