The American Heart Association has found that about one of seven deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease, but completing a cardiac rehab program reduces risk of death by 47 percent and risk of heart attack by 31 percent.
“Cardiac rehab is critically important,” said Andrew Sorey, nurse manager for the cardiac rehabilitation and wellness programs at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “It helps restore or increase strength and endurance, as well as inspire confidence for future self-care.”
Patients eligible for treatment have typically received one of seven common diagnoses:
- Heart attack
- Stable angina (chest pain)
- Angioplasty or coronary stenting (procedures to open a clog in your heart arteries)
- Open-heart surgery
- Heart valve repair or replacement
- Heart transplantation
- Heart failure (having heart function of 35 percent or less)
Once patients determine if they are eligible, they may enroll in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
The cardiac rehabilitation program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center provides highly individualized treatment designed to increase strength and health while reducing the risk of another heart-related event.
After being admitted, patients meet privately with a team of experts to develop a personalized exercise plan, nutritional and lifestyle education, and counseling programs to meet their specific needs.
“We feel that long-term health and recovery is best grounded in an individual’s personal desires, hopes, and dreams,” Sorey said.
Programs typically consist of 36 sessions over a 12-week period. Once the 12 weeks have passed, patients have the ability to continue their exercise routine at the facility for a small fee, which allows patients to progress at their own speed.
“I most certainly cannot underscore how powerful cardiac rehabilitation is for those recovering from a heart-related procedure or diagnosis,” Sorey said. “If you or a loved one has recently had a heart procedure or heart problem, contact your local cardiac rehab program.”