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Return to Work after Coronary Heart Diseases

What support can receive the affected persons?

After a heart disease or heart surgery it is often possible to work again. To prevent early retirement, support for returning to work is of great importance.

Coronary heart disease is one of the most frequent diseases and is one of the leading caus-es of death in the western industrialized countries. Despite of improvements in medical care for cardiological patients, in recent decades, the integration and occupational per-spective of those affected has not improved significantly. For those affected, returning to work after the disease is very important to secure their financial existence and to enable their participation in the social life. Also companies profit in times of skilled work-ers´shortage.

Return to work support

Guideline-based treatment of coronary heart disease in accordance with the "National Treatment Guideline for Chronic CHD" includes individual and needs-oriented counsel-ling and support of the affected individuals on professional and social reintegration.
For example, in the framework of cardiological rehabilitationare offered measures that aim the occupational reintegration and that intend to promote a sustainable return to work and thus contribute to the prevention of retirement because of a reduction in earnings capacity.

Also the world of work plays an important role in the return to work process. Both high physical strain and also stress and psychosocial workload can hinder the sustainable return to work. Occupational support programs, for example in the context of occupational-integration management, provide an opportunity to carry out changes in the working con-ditions in line with the interests of those affected and to promote a sustainable reintegra-tion.

Review of return to work measures

In cooperation with national and international experts, BAuA is currently conducting a systematic review to investigate which work-related and personal measures have scientif-ically proved to be particularly helpful for the return to work.