Underutilization of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Women: BARRIERS and SOLUTIONS

Sherrie Khadanga, Diann E. Gaalema, Patrick Savage, Philip A. Ades

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: Despite the known benefits of cardiac rehabilitation (CR), it remains underutilized particularly among women. The aim of this review was to provide an overview regarding women in CR, addressing barriers that may affect enrollment and attendance as well as to discuss the training response and methods to optimize exercise-related benefits of CR. Review Methods: The review examines original studies and meta-analyses regarding women in CR. Summary: Women are less likely to engage in CR compared with men, and this may be attributed to lack of referral or psychosocial barriers on the part of the patient. Furthermore, despite having lower levels of fitness, women do not improve their fitness as much as men in CR. This review summarizes the current literature and provides recommendations for providers regarding participation and adherence as well as optimal methods for exercise training for women in CR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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