Objectives: Investigations into the provision of cardiac rehabilitation from the Arabian Gulf countries are rare, despite suffering from an unusually high prevalence of cardiovascular disease. This study reports patient and program characteristics from an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program in Abu Dhabi, and factors associated with program completion. Methods: Data was drawn from the institution’s cardiac rehabilitation registry, populated from the electronic medical record of patients enrolled in the hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation program, from 2015 to 2022. The program was administered by physical therapist and nurse specialists and guided by individualized exercise parameters. Completion of the program was defined as attendance of ten or more sessions. Relationships between program completion and demographic characteristics, quality of life, depression, and physical function were explored statistically. Results: A total of 1,774 patients attended at least one session, with a total of 15,563 sessions. The number of patients and sessions trended upward since program inception. The most common referral diagnoses of participants who completed the program were coronary artery bypass grafting, valve surgery, and percutaneous coronary intervention. Among all 1,774 attendees, median age was 56, comprised of 61.6% male, and 77.1% residents of Abu Dhabi, and 73.5% Emirati nationals. 527 (29.7%) patients completed the program, and this group was significantly lower in BMI (29.4 vs 30.4 kg/m2), had lower prevalence of moderate to severe depression (9.0 vs 13.0%), were more often Abu Dhabi residents or Emirati nationals (88.2 vs 72.2%, and 76.9 and 72.0%, respectively), and more likely to have completed the 6-minute walk test at the first visit (80.5 vs 72.5%). There were no differences between those who did and did not complete cardiac rehabilitation with respect to age, gender, quality of life, or first 6-minute walk test distance. Conclusions: There is a growing demand for cardiac rehabilitation in Abu Dhabi, particularly among Emirati nationals and residents of Abu Dhabi. Potential risk factors for non-completion such as higher body-mass index, depression, lower physical function, non-residence in Abu Dhabi, and non-Emirati nationality warrant further exploration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.