Brittany Overstreet, Danielle Kirkman, Wanda Koester Qualters, Dennis Kerrigan, Mark J. Haykowsky, Marysia S. Tweet, Jeffrey W. Christle, Clinton A. Brawner, Jonathan K. Ehrman, Steven J. Keteyian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is safe and highly effective for individuals with various cardiovascular health conditions, to date there are only seven diagnoses or procedures identified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that qualify for referral. When considering the growing number of individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD), or other health conditions that increase the risk for CVD, it is important to determine the extent for which CR could benefit these populations. Furthermore, there are some patients who may currently be eligible for CR (spontaneous coronary artery dissection, left ventricular assistant device) but make up a relatively small proportion of the populations that are regularly attending and participating. Thus, these patient populations and special considerations for exercise might be less familiar to professionals who are supervising their programs. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature surrounding exercise testing and programming among four specific patient populations that either do not currently qualify for (chronic and end-stage renal disease, breast cancer survivor) or who are eligible but less commonly seen in CR (sudden coronary artery dissection, left ventricular assist device). While current evidence suggests that individuals with these health conditions can safely participate in and may benefit from supervised exercise programming, there is an immediate need for high-quality, multisite clinical trials to develop more specific exercise recommendations and support the inclusion of these populations in future CR programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • exercise
  • special populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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