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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


RICARDO, Djalma Rabelo  and  ARAUJO, Claudio Gil Soares de. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation: a systematic review. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2006, vol.12, n.5, pp.279-285. ISSN 1517-8692.

The aim of this systematic review was to determine the effect of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (EBCR) on mortality, modifiable risk factors and quality of life related to health, in patients with coronary artery disease. Only Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) with follow up equal or higher than six months published between 1990 and 2004 were analyzed. The criteria proposed by the Clinical Practice Guideline: cardiac rehabilitation was adopted to evaluate the selected studies. Twenty-one RCTs met the inclusion criteria in a total of 2220 patients aged between 49 and 63 years of age (86% male). The majority of RCTs results were favorable to EBCR when compared to usual care (control) regarding total and cardiac mortality. This fact was also observed for the reinfarction and myocardial revascularization rates. EBCR results about the modifiable risk factors and quality of life were not conclusive when compared to control intervention, although some studies have presented statistical differences in favor of EBCR. This review confirms the benefits of EBCR therapeutic approach on coronary diseased, showing reduced rates of cardiac and all causes mortality, besides the reduced coronary events occurrence, such as myocardial revascularization and reinfarct rate. There was a favorable trend toward EBCR utilization considering the modified risk factors and quality of life. In addition, it seems that exercise per si constitutes the major responsible factor for the favorable intervention results related to the studied endpoints.

Keywords : Cardiac rehabilitation; Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation; Cardiovascular mortality; Coronary artery disease.

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