Lifestyle modification program in management of patients with coronary artery disease: The clinical experience in a tertiary care hospital

John C Rutledge, Dianne A. Hyson, Debbie Garduno, Douglas A. Cort, Linda Paumer, C. Tissa Kappagoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objectives. The authors examined clinical outcomes in 71 male and female patients with coronary atherosclerosis who enrolled in a 2-year, independent- living, lifestyle modification program. The findings in 43 patients who completed the program were compared with those in 28 patients who dropped out of the program. Background. Clinical studies suggest that lifestyle modification of risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis reduces subsequent cardiac events but there are very few reports of the effect of these programs in patients living independently. Methods. Patients with diagnosed coronary atherosclerosis were managed for a 2-year period in a structured multidisciplinary program by a team that included two cardiologists, a nurse, a dietitian, an exercise physiologist, and a clinical psychologist. The overall aim of the program was to normalize or control all major reversible cardiovascular risk factors. Patients were required to participate in several weekly sessions for exercise, meditation/stress reduction training, dietary education and counseling, and participatory dinners. There was a strong emphasis on patient's self care, inclusion of support members, and regular monitoring of and feedback to patients. Results. Data comparing baseline and 2-year outcomes showed a significant reduction in body weight, dietary intake of total/saturated fat and cholesterol, serum low- and high-density lipoprotein concentration, and an increase in exercise capacity. In the compliant group, the incidence of cardiac events was 2.3% over 2 years. Conclusion. Multidisciplinary lifestyle modification programs addressing cardiovascular risk factors are known to have a significant impact upon cardiac risk factors in patients with coronary atherosclerosis. Data show that these changes can be accomplished in independent-living patients in a program offered through a routine cardiology service. However, compliance is an important issue in these self-regulated programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Coronary artery disease
  • Lifestyle modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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