Cardiac rehabilitation and survival of dialysis patients after coronary bypass

Nancy G. Kutner, Rebecca Zhang, Yijian Huang, Charles A. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Patients who are on renal dialysis are at high risk for cardiac death and have a large burden of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Cardiac rehabilitation can promote improved survival of nondialysis patients after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery and is covered by Medicare, but no previous studies have investigated whether dialysis patients' survival after CABG may be improved as a function of cardiac rehabilitation. A prospective cohort study was conducted using Medicare claims (1998 to 2002) for CABG and cardiac rehabilitation and patient information from the United States Renal Data System database for 6215 renal patients who initiated hemodialysis and underwent CABG between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2002, with mortality follow-up to December 31, 2003. Cardiac rehabilitation was defined by Current Procedural Terminology codes for monitored and nonmonitored exercise in Medicare claims data. Dialysis patients who received cardiac rehabilitation after CABG had a 35% reduced risk for all-cause mortality and a 36% reduced risk for cardiac death compared with dialysis patients who did not receive cardiac rehabilitation, independent of sociodemographic and clinical risk factors, including recent hospitalization. Only 10% of patients received cardiac rehabilitation after CABG, compared with an estimated 23.4% of patients in the general population, and lower income patients of all ages as well as women and black patients who were aged 65+ were significantly less likely to receive cardiac rehabilitation services. This observational study suggests a survival benefit of cardiac rehabilitation for dialysis patients after CABG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1180
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


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