Do Women-Only Cardiac Rehab Programs Benefit Female Patients?
Women-only cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) participation may improve diet and lower symptoms of depression and anxiety in female cardiac patients, according to a study published Feb. 3 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
In the CR4HER trial – a single-blind randomized trial with three parallel arms – researchers assessed the physical activity, diet, medication adherence, smoking and psychological well-being in 116 low-risk cardiac patients at six sites in Ontario, Canada. Participants were randomized into mixed-sex, women-only or home-based cardiac rehab programs.
Results showed that self-reported physical activity increased and quality of life improved among women who attended the mixed-sex and women-only programs. However, overall women were not getting the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise. Further women who had attended mixed-sex programs exhibited higher levels of anxious and depressive symptoms than patients in women-only programs.
“Physical activity and quality of life improved with all supervised cardiac rehabilitation participation and the overall adjusted results of this trial suggest that women’s outcomes are equivalent regardless of participation in women-only, mixed-sex or home-based cardiac rehab,” explains lead investigator Sherry L. Grace, PhD. “Therefore, we need to get more women to cardiac rehab, and let them choose the type of program they will be most likely to stick with.”
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