Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation

Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation

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If you have, or have an increased risk for, heart disease due to factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity, our preventive cardiology team will design a personalized care plan to improve your heart health. If you are recovering from a heart attack or procedure, our cardiac rehabilitation team will be part of your support network, helping you recover faster. Whether you come to Duke for prevention or rehabilitation, we'll conduct a comprehensive assessment of your health risks. Our specially trained physicians, exercise physiologists, nurses, dietitians, and counselors will help set you on a course to making lasting, heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

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Risk Evaluation

Your risk evaluation includes an initial health risk assessment and a review of your personal and family history of heart disease. We’ll continue to periodically assess your heart health and related risk factors with the following tests.


We monitor your weight, BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, and waist circumference. Too much abdominal fat indicates a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and other heart disease risk factors.

Lab Tests

Blood tests measure your cholesterol profile, which includes triglycerides and other fats in your blood that can affect your heart. Glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c may be checked for diabetes or pre-diabetes. Thyroid function and other tests look for related endocrine issues. Special testing for inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein may also be part of your cardiovascular workup.

Lifestyle Factors

We review the factors that affect your heart health -- such as smoking, exercise, and eating habits -- and work with you to create personalized treatment programs designed to improve your health.

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing

This specialized metabolic exercise test accurately measures your cardiorespiratory fitness level, which is an important measure of your overall health and risk for heart disease. The test can also be used to determine precise and personalized exercise prescriptions to optimize your health.

Our Location
Cardiac prevention and rehab programs are offered at Duke Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at Croasdaile in Durham.

Program Areas

Medical Management

We review any medications you currently take and discuss with you the proper way to take them and potential problems with drug interactions. We’ll continually assess the drugs’ effectiveness and look for side effects.


We provide educational lectures and resources aimed at increasing your knowledge about a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Smoking Cessation

If you smoke, we want to help you quit. We are committed to partnering with you in an effective smoking cessation program. We offer counseling, support groups, nicotine replacement therapy, prescription tobacco cessation drugs, and cognitive therapy.

Weight Control

We help you to establish and maintain realistic weight goals through appropriate activities and healthy eating plans.

Nutrition Counseling

In individual meetings with our nutritionists and group lectures, you’ll learn the best food choices to meet your heart-healthy goals.

Medically Supervised Exercise

No matter what your current activity level, our exercise physiologists help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. We introduce a variety of activities, including walking and biking as well as training to build strength, flexibility, and balance. We monitor your progress to ensure your safety and push you to reach the next level. This medically supervised approach builds your confidence and is designed to help you maintain your motivation after you complete your rehabilitation program.

Stress Reduction

Psychological risk factors put you at greater risk for heart disease. Our skilled counselors work with you to address emotional concerns, and our program includes courses in stress-reduction techniques like meditation and relaxation.

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We Help You Prevent Heart Disease and Improve Your Heart Health

Personalized Treatment Plans
Your health risk assessment includes your current health status, health goals, and personal preferences. We develop a care plan you can adopt and adapt over time to maintain long-term, heart-healthy living.

National Leaders in Preventive Medicine
Duke doctors have been members of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, contributing to the first national exercise guidelines for heart disease prevention. We use the same knowledge and expertise to develop a care plan that meets your needs.

Access to Clinical Trials
Our ongoing clinical trials examine which patients benefit from prevention efforts and which approaches are most effective.

Tailored Heart Failure Program
If you have heart failure, our heart failure rehabilitation group is tailored to meet your needs. Join us for lectures that include an introduction to heart failure, stress management, energy conservation, breathing techniques, nutrition, and learning to live with your diagnosis.

Insurance Coverage and Payment Flexibility
You may qualify for Medicare and major medical insurance coverage because our state-certified cardiac rehabilitation program follows the North Carolina Cardiac Rehabilitation guidelines. If you are ineligible for insurance coverage, we offer the Cobb HEARTS (healing through eating healthy, activity, relaxation, treatment and support) program, which provides similar cardiac rehabilitation services for a reasonable fee.


Best Heart Hospital in NC
When it comes to your heart care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked cardiology and heart surgery program is ranked the best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Reviewed: 08/30/2018