KITE researchers confirm benefits of cardiac rehab using real-world data

The team led by KITE Senior Scientist Prof. Sherry Grace reviewed data of 300,000 patients from across the globe

TORONTO–A thorough review of available registries worldwide by a UHN research team has found that cardiac rehabilitation has “real-world” benefits for those who choose to participate in such programs.

Personalized cardiac rehab programs support patients recovering from heart conditions by providing guidance about exercise, education, and counselling in order to help patients regain their strength and reduce the risk of further health problems. 

The team led by Prof. Sherry Grace, a Senior Scientist at the University Health Network’s KITE Research Institute, reviewed data from cardiac rehabilitation registries around the globe. Such registries record information about patients’ health status and the care they receive over time. This is the first known study in which data from these registries have been used to compare outcomes of care. 

The findings, which were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, are expected to help lay the groundwork for future collaborations between cardiac registries to improve care and be used to advocate for additional government funding.

Prof. Grace discusses the team’s research in further detail below.

Which patient groups are most affected by this? 

Heart diseases are among the most prevalent health conditions globally. Heart patients are at increased risk of further heart problems, but this is lowered with cardiac rehab. Many patients don’t know about the excellent care provided in cardiac rehab and the benefits that can be achieved around the world.  

What did you find?

We know that there are 10 cardiac rehabilitation registries in the world. 

This is the first time cardiac rehab registries have worked together to compare findings. In the over 300,000 patients included from diverse settings in all regions of the globe, “real-world“ benefits of cardiac rehab participation were supported.

Why does this matter? 

While we need more cardiac rehab programs participating in these registries, we found that the registries are doing an excellent job of capturing “real-world“ care over time in countries of the world where we have very little information about the status of heart patients living in the community (i.e., ”outpatients“).

What is the potential impact? 

The leadership of the registries are eager to further exchange best practices as well as the supports they provide to cardiac rehab programs to improve patient care quality. This should ultimately improve the well-being and survival of patients served. 

This data can be used to lobby governments to augment the funding and availability of cardiac rehab services, so all patients have access to these life-saving programs.

Research Spotlight: 
Cardiac rehabilitation registry review

Professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York York University

Name of Publication:
Cardiac rehabilitation registries around the globe: current status and future needs

Name of Journal:
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology