ROCHESTER, Minn., March 18 (UPI) -- Cardiac rehabilitation is linked with reduced mortality rates for patients who have had stents to treat coronary blockages, U.S. researchers found.
Dr. Randal Thomas, a preventive cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found patients who had coronary angioplasty -- stent placement, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention -- and participated afterward in a cardiac rehabilitation program had a 45 percent to 47 percent decrease in mortality compared to those who did not participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
"Patients need to know that once they've had a coronary artery stent placed, they are not cured," Thomas said in a statement. "Participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program will improve their health outcomes and quality of life."
The research team examined records from a special database of 2,351 Mayo Clinic patients who underwent coronary angioplasty between 1994 and 2008. The overall participation rate in cardiac rehabilitation was 40 percent. Individual patients were followed for an average of six years.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta.