After experiencing a heart attack, only one in three survivors participate in recommended cardiac rehabilitation treatment, according to recently released statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rehabilitation of heart attack patients includes exercise counseling, healthy heart lifestyle advice, and stress-reduction tips, which may help reduce the odds of recurrence.

Dr Jing Fang from the CDC’s division for heat disease and stroke prevention compiled the report after analyzing survey data from 20 states and the District of Columbia from 2013 and survey results from four states from 2015.

The 2013 data indicates that 34% of roughly 9,000 heart attack patients entered cardiac rehab after leaving the hospital. The 2015 data shows 36% of patients entered rehab, according to the researchers, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published recently by the CDC.

Women, blacks, Hispanics, younger adults, less-educated patients, and those without insurance coverage were more likely to not participate in cardiac rehab.

In addition, just one in five heart attack patients from Hawaii, and 60% of patients from Minnesota, entered rehab in 2013, per the report.

Lowering out-of-pocket costs and standardizing referrals may help boost rates of patients entering post-heart attack cardiac rehab. Enabling better access to affordable cardiac rehab programs, especially in areas with the lowest rehabilitation rates, should be a priority, the researchers note.

“Health-system interventions to promote cardiac rehab referral and use, supported by access to affordable rehab programs within the community, should be prioritized to improve outcomes and prevent recurrent events,” they write in the report.

[Source(s): US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HealthDay]