Cardiac rehab reduces number of future heart attacks

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading global cause of death

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. And to help remind Americans of the condition, February has been designated American Heart Month.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading global cause of death with more than 17 million deaths each year.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help improve your cardiovascular health if you have had a heart attack, heart failure or heart surgery.

Trumbull Regional Medical Center has a Cardiac rehabilitation program, which is a medically supervised program designed to help improve cardiovascular health following a heart attack, heart failure or heart surgery.

“The goal, ultimately, is to reduce the risk of future heart-related events. The research varies, but it does show about a 50 percent reduction in future events for patients that complete cardiac rehab,” said Robert Halicky, clinical exercise physiologist with Trumbull Regional Medical Center. “Everything is individualized for the patient but ideally we like to get them to do activities that translate best to them getting back to work or getting back home. If it’s someone works in a factory, after a few weeks, we transition the resistance training to get back their muscle strength.”

Even with the success rate, enrollment in cardiac rehabilitation is low. Only about 20 percent of patients nationwide that are eligible actually participate in the program.

Health professionals hope that American Heart Month will help raise awareness of the importance of the program.

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors. About half of Americans have at least one of those risk factors. Changes in diet and increasing your physical activity can help prevent heart disease.