Article Text

Availability and characteristics of cardiac rehabilitation programmes in China
  1. Zixin Zhang1,
  2. Quinn Pack2,3,
  3. Ray W Squires2,
  4. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez2,
  5. Lujiao Yu1,
  6. Randal J Thomas2
  1. 1Division of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  2. 2Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Program, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  3. 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Baystate Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Randal J Thomas, Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Program, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; thomas.randal{at}


Objective Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves patient outcomes in cardiovascular disease (CVD), but little is known about its current practice in China. Since China has a high CVD burden, the potential impact of CR is large. We surveyed large hospitals in China to assess the prevalence and characteristics of CR.

Methods We carried out a cross-sectional survey of 454 large medical centres in China to ascertain the prevalence of CR, perceived barriers to CR and various other characteristics of centres with and without CR programmes.

Results Responses were received from 124 (27%) of the 454 centres surveyed. Of these, only 30 (24%) reported having an operating CR programme. This was true, despite the near universal availability of advanced imaging, coronary stenting and other technologies. Overall, the estimated availability of CR programmes was about 2 programmes per 100 million inhabitants. Centres with CR were more likely than centres without CR to be university or government hospitals, have more inpatient cardiovascular beds and provide secondary CVD prevention services. Perceived barriers to CR included a lack of awareness, training and experience in CR, as well as limited resources for a CR programme. Respondents suggested that educational and training activities could help promote greater implementation of CR in China.

Conclusions The availability of CR is low (24%) in the large medical centres in China we surveyed, highlighting the importance of efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of CR, to provide CR training to healthcare professionals and to improve CR availability throughout China.


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