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  1. Sun, Enid Y. MD, MPH
  2. Jadotte, Yuri T. MD, PhD
  3. Halperin, William MD, MPH, DrPH


PURPOSE: Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a class I recommendation for all patients following an acute cardiac event or cardiac surgery according to the The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation. Studies have shown that there are differences in cardiac rehabilitation participation rates between sociodemographic groups. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analyses was to synthesize quantitative data on the relationship between outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (OCR) attendance and various sociodemographic factors.


METHODS: We conducted a search of PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Google Scholar, Dissertations & Theses A&I, and conference abstracts for observational studies conducted in the United States that fit our inclusion criteria. A total of 21 studies were included in our final review and meta-analyses.


RESULTS: Our meta-analyses showed that overall, attenders were younger than nonattenders (mean difference=-3.74 years, 95% CI =-5.87 to -1.61) and the odds of participation were lower among females (OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.51-0.69), individuals with a high school degree or less (OR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.50-0.91), and the uninsured or self-payers (OR = 0.32; 95% CI = 0.14-0.71). Full- or part-time employees were more likely to participate than those not employed (OR = 1.45; 95% CI = 1.08-1.95).


CONCLUSIONS: Our systematic review and meta-analyses showed that there are significant sociodemographic disparities in CR participation. On the basis of this knowledge, clinicians and policy makers should focus on identifying and eliminating barriers to participation.