October 23, 2016

Thousands are putting their lives at risk by missing out on vital heart rehab

More than 24,000 female heart patients – around 38 per cent – are missing out on crucial rehabilitation, putting them at risk from FURTHER heart attacks, according to research carried out by the British Heart Foundation.

After suffering a major heart event – like cardiac arrest – where the patients require life-saving surgery or a medicine-based treatment, medical experts say they should then be referred for rehabilitation to aid their recovery and reduce the chance of any further attacks.

Cardiac rehabilitation offers physical activity support and lifestyle advice, such as exercise classes and dietary guidance, to help people living with heart disease manage their condition and reduce their risk of associated heart events.

Rehabilitation can help reduce the number of deaths by a huge 18 per cent over the first six to twelve months and can cut readmissions by a third.

Analysis has shown that cardiac rehabilitation services are neglecting female heart patients.

Of those attending, some rehabilitation centres, as few as 10 per cent are female patients.

This is partly because services are failing to refer and encourage women to take part, the report said.

In 2013/2014 just over 14,000 women took part in the potentially life-saving rehab out of a possible 38,500 eligible patients.

A further 5,500 women are needed to take part if services are to fix the current gender imbalance. It’s estimated that male uptake levels are just over 50 per cent.

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