Skip to content

IHD – Helps prevent early death and hospital admissions

Evidence summary (Updated 2022)
A large body of good quality randomised controlled data shows consistent prevention of mortality and hospital admissions(1–3) from cardiac rehabilitation.
However Long et al found evidence in 1 study only showing a reduction in cardiovascular-related hospital admissions (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02 to 1.1).(4)
Dibben et al in 2021 published a further Cochrane review (85 trials, n=23,430) looking at exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and found a small reduction in all-cause mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 to 1.04; 25 trials; moderate certainty evidence) in a 6-12 moth follow-up period and found a large reduction in all-cause hospitalisation (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.77; 14 trials; NNTB 12, 95% CI 9 to 21; moderate certainty evidence). Exercise-based CR likely results in little to no difference in risk of cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.14; 15 trials; moderate certainty evidence (8)

Quality of evidence
B – Moderate quality

Strength of recommendation
1- Strong

Physical activity has an important role in reducing mortality and hospital admissions and should be part of the management plan of patients living with IHD.


  1. Belardinelli R, Paolini I, Cianci G, Piva R, Georgiou D, Purcaro A. Exercise training intervention after coronary angioplasty: the ETICA trial. J Am Coll Cardiol. 37:1891–1900.
  2. Anderson L, Oldridge N, Thompson DR, Zwisler AD, Rees K, Martin N, et al. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease: cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 67:1–12.
  3. Taylor. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (ue 7. Art. No: CD001800).
  4. Long L, Anderson L, Dewhirst AM, He J, Bridges C, Gandhi M, et al. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for adults with stable angina. Cochrane database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2018 Feb 2 [cited 2022 Oct 7];2(2). Available from: