At 31, Molly began to experience chest pain, which she initially attributed to anxiety and stress. Following a cardiac catheterization, she was diagnosed with early-onset coronary heart disease and was referred to St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Institute and Dr. Reiss for follow-up care.
Dr. Reiss also referred Molly to the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Luke’s. Cardiac rehabilitation was important for Molly so she could return to living the life she was accustomed to. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac rehabilitation can reduce cardiovascular mortality by over 50% compared to those who don’t participate.
St. Luke’s Hospital offers patients both Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR) and Traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR). The patient is referred to the appropriate program by their physician depending upon their individual needs and capabilities. Both programs, however, concentrate on strengthening both the heart and spirit through lessons focused on three areas of concentration: eating heart-healthy meals, proper exercise and modified behaviors that lead to longer and healthier lives. Molly also had access to monitored exercise sessions and education. The security of being monitored helped reduce her anxiety about exercise and physical activity at home.
“It was very pleasant to be able to come twice or three times a week to meet with all the friendly faces,” said Molly. Through the cardiac rehabilitation program and her own lifestyle efforts, which include working out five days a week, Molly has been able to lose 50 pounds.