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Impact of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Metabolic Syndrome in Iranian Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: The Role of Obesity


  • Ali Kabir MD MPH,

  • Nizal Sarrafzadegan MD,

  • Afshin Amini MD,

  • Reza Safi Aryan MD,

  • Fahimeh Habibi Kerahroodi MD,

  • Katayoun Rabiei MD MPH,

  • Hamid Reza Taghipour MD,

  • Mehrdad Moghimi MD



Due to high prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in Iran, and their mutual relationship, we evaluated how comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) can affect MetS in patients with CHD.


In this study (1998–2003), we evaluated 547 patients with CHD undergoing comprehensive CR.


Cases with MetS decreased from 42.8% to 33.3% after CR program (p < .001). Decrease in high fasting plasma glucose, triglyceridemia, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and increase in HDL cholesterol, functional capacity, and left ventricular ejection fraction was more prominent in the “MetS but not obese” group. However, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, weight, body mass index, and waist circumference showed a greater decrease in groups with obesity.


Cardiac rehabilitation is an effective treatment of MetS, particularly in the absence of obesity. This represents an additional argument for the prevention of obesity and the linked insulin resistance.